Marc Rubin was an educator and longtime political activist, involved in gay causes since 1969. For many years before, he was active in the Reform Democratic Party through the Bolivar Douglas Club. He was involved in the Freedom Summer in Mississippi, teaching at the Freedom School in Shaw, Mississippi. After Stonewall, he joined the Gay Liberation Front. Soon after, he left that organization for the newly formed Gay Activists Alliance.
He met his partner, Peter Fisher at GAA. He was joint author with Pete Fisher of the book "Special Teachers/Special Boys" ©1979, St. Martin's Press, Inc., NY, NY. He wrote poetry from 1954 to 1969 and 1970-1974 with at least one poem published.
His partner of 36 years, Peter Fisher added more boxes in August 2009, to Marc's collection at the Center, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. There ares also papers about/by Marc in the Peter Fisher Collection.
Peter Fisher committed suicide in August 15, 2012. He was 68 years old.
Peter Randolph Fisher was born in May 19, 1944 in Richmond, VA and graduated from high school in Eastchester, NY. He did two years at Amherst College, a short term in the Air Force then graduated from Columbia University in 1969. He joined Gay Activist Alliance (GAA) in 1970 and met his lover Marc Rubin - they were together until Marc's death in 2007. He published 4 or 5 books, composed music, was an artist, was employed by Chemical Bank in the data center, had a software consulting business.
"I graduated, with High Honors from Eastchester High School and did two years of study (on the Deans List) at Amherst College, College, majoring in psychology, before deciding to leave school in order to come to terms with being gay.
I worked as a laboratory technician for a year, and, when I was about to be drafted, enlisted in the Air Force, hoping to complete my education while in the service. While stationed in Texas as a psychiatric technician administering psychological tests and counseling basic trainees, I began attending night classes in political science at St. Marys University.
Getting out of the Air Force on a medical discharge, I began attending Columbia University in 1967, where I participated in the Political Science Department's special Honors program. I received my B.A. Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in 1969, when I was awarded a full scholarship in the form, a Herbert H. Lehman Fellowship and began two years of graduate work at Columbia in political theory before resigning from the Ph.D. program to write The Gay Mystique.
Marc Rubin and Peter Fisher, 1999, by Robert Giard
Peter Fisher joined Gay Activist Alliance in 1970 and met his lover Marc Rubin - they were together until Marc's death in 2007. They were joint authors of the book "Special Teachers/Special Boys". Marc Rubin also wrote poetry from 1954 to 1969 and 1970-1974 with at least one poem published. Partners for 36 years, Peter Fisher donated Marc's and his own papers to the Center, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, in NYC. Peter Fisher committed suicide on August 15, 2012.
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitalI became involved in the Gay Activists Alliance in 1970 while still at Columbia, and I quickly moved to a leadership position, first chairing The Harpers Action Committee, which staged a take-over of Harper's Magazines offices to gently chide them for running a viciously anti-gay article. Next I chaired GAA's Committee on Committees which wrote mandates for all the organization's other committees and was responsible for its committee structure at the height of the organizations power in the early seventies, I next chaired the National Gay Movement Committee which sent out field workers across the nation to organize gay groups in cities lacking them.
Since then, my lover Marc (a founder and leader of New York City's Gay Teachers Association) helped found, the National Gay Task Force and served on its initial Board of Directors. Because of the response to The Gay Mystique, I have had the opportunity over the past several years to visit gay organizations on college campuses in many other states.
My first hook, The Gay Mystique, was published .in hard cover by Stein & Day in 1972 and was promptly named co-winner of the American Library Associations Gay Book of the Year Award (shared by Lesbian/Woman, by Lyons and Martin). Stein & Day brought out a paperback edition that fall, which is now in its second printing.
Before getting my book contract, I had been writing as a reporter for the gay press, primarily GAY, New York [Lige Clark and Jack Nichol] based paper that has since folded.
When I finished The Gay Mystique, I began works on a large political novel about the Nixon era and the Watergate scandal; a section of the book appeared in OUT magazine in 1974 under the title, NUMBNUTS. I finished the book, a truly massive work, at the end of 1975 and have been busy writing my next book, a novel about Star Trek, ever since. I expect to complete it this fall and have a list of at least half a dozen other books I am determined to write."
Peter and Marc Rubin are in "Out of the Closet" film in 1971. His 1990s resume shows he was employed by Chemical Bank, Jericho, LI, branch, data Center from 1983 to 1992. He also had a software business "Beyond Communications" in Chatham NY with his brother Randy Fisher.
For the past several years, after the death of his partner Marc Rubin, Peter Fisher was living with his sister Lynne. He committed suicide on August 12, 2012.
Steve Ault, one of the principal organizers of the first two marches on Washington for LGBT rights in 1979 and 1987 and a close friend of Rubin’s, said, “When Marc got sick of prostate and brain cancer, Pete did heroic work caring for him.” While he said Fisher “was a very sweet man,” he also said “he was an absolute wreck and lived in a state of semi-breakdown for many years” and even before Marc’s death often considered suicide, something his sister confirmed.
Rich Wandel, GAA’s second president, runs the archive at the LGBT Community Center where the papers of Fisher and Rubin reside. “Pete was in many ways overshadowed by Marc who was a big gun dealing with municipal government,” he said, “but he was there all the time. He was the first chair of the committee to make contact with other groups around the country. In two bound volumes, he saved every flier and newsletter in GAA, and we have them.”
Andy Humm told of Fisher: "He is survived by generations of LGBT people who owe much of their self-respect and even their lives to the courageous work that he did 40 years ago. He was part of a group of activists who did not ask for their rights, but took them, and responded to attacks not with press releases but immediate, militant action that got results. His expansive vision in “The Gay Mystique” bears reconsideration by a generation of LGBT leaders in suits pushing a relatively narrow agenda — and not too successfully at that."
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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