elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
elisa_rolle
elisa_rolle

Donna M. Smith & Valerie Jarrard

Donna May Smith was born on May 2, 1919, and was raised in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from high school, she found employment as a secretary in the offices of a union in the film industry. In 1939, she came out to a small group of lesbians and soon after she met her partner of 40 years, Valerie Jarrard. When Smith's mother learned of the relationship, she had her daughter arrested and committed to a mental institution. This experience was briefly documented in Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community (1985) and in Dorothy Engleman's Pride and Prejudice (1992).

In the early 1980s, Smith became increasingly involved in lesbian and gay, animal welfare, and environmental organizations. In her later years she freelanced as bookkeeper and used those skills as Treasurer of the International Gay & Lesbian Archives and of the Society of Senior Gay & Lesbian Citizens' Project Rainbow. She died in Santa Monica, California on February 22, 1992.

Her papers are held at ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives: Correspondence, photographs, vacation journals, and educational materials, 1940s to 1992, documenting the life of Donna M. Smith; her relationship with her partner of 40 years, Valerie Jarrard; her relationship to other friends, in particular Celia Hunter, Ruth Poirier and Doris Pressler; and her involvement with lesbian and gay rights, the environment, and animal welfare.

Source: www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt5w1025w1/

Further Readings:

Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community (1985)
Actors: Rita Mae Brown, Evelyn Hooker, Ricky Streiker, Henry Otis, Jim Kepner
Directors: Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg
Studio: First Run Features
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2004
Run Time: 87 minutes
Amazon: Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community (1985)

On June 27, 1969, police raided The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village. In a spontaneous show of support and frustration, the city's gay community rioted for three nights in the streets, an event that is considered the birth of the modern Gay Rights Movement.
The award winning film Before Stonewall pries open the closet door, setting free the dramatic story of the sometimes horrifying public and private existences experienced by gay and lesbian Americans since the 1920s. Revealing and often humorous, this widely acclaimed film relives the emotionally-charged sparking of today's gay rights movement, from the events that led to the fevered 1969 riots to many other milestones in the brave fight for acceptance.
Experience the fascinating and unforgettable, decade-by-decade history of homosexuality in America through eye-opening historical footage and amazing interviews with those who lived through an often brutal closeted history.

More Real Life Romances at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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Tags: days of love tb
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