About this Project

Mapping the Gay Guides aims to understand often ignored queer geographies using the Damron Address Books, an early but longstanding travel guide aimed at gay men since the early 1960s. Similar in function to the green books used by African Americans during the Jim Crow era to help identify businesses that catered to black clients in the South, the Damron Guides aided a generation of queer people to identity sites of community, pleasure, and politics. By associating geographical coordinates with each location mentioned within the Damron Guides, MGG provides an interface for visualizing the growth of queer spaces between 1965 and 1980.

MGG launched in February 2020 with an initial dataset focused on the Southern United States from 1965 through 1980. Throughout 2020 we continued to add data and now have a complete dataset for the United States from 1965 to 1980.

With the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the MGG team will spend the next three years digitizing, transcribing, and geolocating data from 1981-2000. In addition to the expanded dataset, we will add public history and educational resources and new data driven vignettes focused on using the site’s data to explore facets of LGBTQ geography and history. Read more about our plans on the news page. You can sign up here to receive updates as we release new data and materials.

Project Team

Core Team:

Interns and Graduate Research Assistants:

  • Liset Machado, Intern, Florida International University, Fall 2019.
  • Morgan Glover, Intern, 2019-2020.
  • Susana Garcia, Intern, 2019-2020
  • Christian Castillo, Graduate Research Assistant, California State University Fullerton, Spring 2020.
  • Laura Fauvor, Graduate Research Assistant, California State University Fullerton, Spring 2020.
  • Giulia Oprea, Graduate Research Assistant, California State University Fullerton, Spring 2020.
  • Sierra Rivera, Graduate Research Assistant, California State University Fullerton, Spring 2020.

Advisory Board:

  • Darius Bost. Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of Utah.
  • Julio Capo. Associate Professor of History, Florida International University.
  • Nicholae Cline, Scholarly Services Librarian and Librarian for Media Studies, Indiana University.
  • Gina Gatta. President and Editor-in-Chief, the Damron Company, San Francisco, CA.
  • Christina B. Hanhardt. Associate Professor of American Studies, University of Maryland.
  • Emily K. Hobson. Associate Professor of History, University of Nevada, Reno.
  • David Johnson. Professor of History, University of South Florida.
  • Michelle Moravec. Associate Professor of History, Rosemont College.
  • Stephen Robertson. Professor of History, George Mason University and Senior Scholar at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
  • Marc Robert Stein. Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Professor of History, San Francisco State University.
  • Amy Sueyoshi. Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University.
  • Lauren Tilton. Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and Research Fellow in the Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond.
  • Lindsey Wieck. Assistant Professor of History, St. Mary’s University.

Project Log

  • April 14, 2021: Announcement of funding for the expansion of MGG.
  • February 2, 2021: Release of data from U.S. territories between 1965 and 1980. This includes Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Please note that the Bob Damron Address Books did not separate out entries in the US Virgin Islands from the British Virgin Islands. In an effort to maintain our commitment to replicating the source material as accurately as possible we have not done so either.
  • August 10, 2020: Release of data from remaining states from 1965-1980. This release completes the entirety of the United States plus Washington, D.C. We’ve also made some changes to the map to ensure usability.
  • May 15, 2020: Release of data from: Illinois, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin.
  • April 6, 2020: Release of data from: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kansas, Wyoming, Vermont, Utah, North Dakota & Alaska.
  • March 30, 2020: Release of data from: California, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Delaware, & New Hampshire.
  • March 10, 2020: Release of Washington D.C. data.
  • February 12, 2020: Site launch. The initial launch contains data from the Southern United States from 1965 through 1980.
  • December 15, 2019: Added a “preview” vignette and visualization focusing on Alabama’s LGBTQ spaces between 1965 and 1980.

Contact Us

The MGG team would love to hear from you. Feel free to send us comments, suggestions, or inquiries at info@mappingthegayguides.org or get in touch with us on twitter at @gayguides.

Cite Us

If you use this project, we would appreciate it if you would cite us using the suggested citation below:

Mapping the Gay Guides, Amanda Regan and Eric Gonzaba, (2019-): http:// www.mappingthegayguides.org.

Originally Published: December 14, 2019 | Last modified: April 14, 2021