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After 8 Records, 1984-2002

By Vanessa Vanderzee

Collection Overview

Title: After 8 Records, 1984-2002

Predominant Dates: 1991-2001

ID: MSS After8

Primary Creator: After 8 (Organization : Benton County, Or.)

Extent: 2.0 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The After 8 Records consists of eight series: 1. Administration, 1988-2001. 2. Activism, 1986-2002. 3. Outreach, 1984-2001. 4. Press, 1989-2000. 5. Educational Materials, 1988-2001. 6. Photographs, circa 1990s. 7. Audio Recording, 1993. 8. Artifacts, 1987-1995.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2016

Languages of Materials: English [eng]

Abstract

The After 8 Records document the political activism and community outreach work of the After 8 organization, a group which operated in Benton County from 1989 to 2002, but was primarily active during the 1990s.

Scope and Content Notes

The After 8 Records document the establishment and activities of After 8, an historic LGBT rights organization which operated in Benton County from 1989-2002. Activities documented include staff retreats, the Opening Doors youth conference, the Harvey Milk awards dinners, lectures, and workshops pertaining to LGBT issues. Also of note is the group’s work on anti-discrimination policies, and the creation of the Human Rights Coalition.

The collection consists of administrative records, documentation of the group’s activist work, information on events and community outreach, newspaper clippings, educational materials both collected and created by After 8, and a small collection of photographs, buttons, and t-shirts. Collection contents also include organizational communications, meeting minutes, details about the group’s structure, the After 8 speakers’ bureau, and files containing information and reports on relevant LGBT issues such as gay marriage, the military, and transgender topics. Also included are materials pertaining to local campaigns led by the group including the Ashbrook School lawsuit, Benton County anti-discrimination policy work, and a dispute with the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America. In addition, the records include a sizeable collection of materials pertaining to the activities and impact of After 8’s most prominent adversary, the ultra-conservative Oregon Citizen’s Alliance, who championed Ballot Measure 8--the measure After 8's name references. Photographic materials include a small collection of undated color photographs, primarily taken at the Harvey Milk awards dinners and of the group’s Adopt-A-Highway sign. Publications consist of brochures, flyers, newsletters, and a number of newspaper clippings.

Biographical / Historical Notes

In November of 1988, Ballot Measure 8 passed in the state of Oregon, effectively rescinding Governor Goldschmidt’s 1987 Executive Order 87-20 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the executive branch of the state government. In addition to the dismantling of this previous protection, Ballot Measure 8 introduced a new law allowing state officials to take the sexual orientation into account in making personnel decisions, and preventing them from acting on reports of such discrimination. Thus, the ballot measure effectively made it legal to discriminate at all levels of state government on the basis of sexual orientation, then defined as homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual.

In response to Ballot Measure 8, a group of women in Benton County met in the week following its passage to discuss the potential for mobilization within the local gay and lesbian community. By December of that same year, a group of lesbian and gay community members and their allies were meeting bi-weekly, and in January of 1989, the group was given a name—"After 8". Their mission became “To create conditions which ensure that all persons are protected from any discrimination based on sexual orientation.” Throughout the group’s lifetime, After 8 sought to achieve this mission through education and advocacy—working with members of the community, engaging in political activity, networking with individuals, organizations, businesses, and institutions, and effectively making themselves visible as active participants of the local community. After 8 operated in Benton County from 1989-2002.



Author: Vanessa Vanderzee

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 2 boxes; 28 photographs and 1 audio cassette tape

Statement on Access: This collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: Karuna Neustadt, a co-founder of After 8, donated the After 8 Records to the OSU Queer Archives in the summer of 2016.

Related Materials: This collection is a part of the OSU Queer Archives (OSQA). Other collections related to LGBTQ+ history include the Pride Center Records (RG 236), Thomas Kraemer Speech and Blog (MSS Kraemer), and the OSU Queer Archives Oral History Collection (OH 34). A collection with materials pertaining to After 8 is the OSU Affirmative Action Office Records, specifically Box-Folder 1.13. Within OH 34 is an oral history interview with Karuna Neustadt, a co-founder of After 8.

Preferred Citation: After 8 Records (MSS After8), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information: Electronic records that were received with the donation on diskettes could not be captured from the storage media and are not included in the collection.

Creators

After 8 (Organization : Benton County, Or.)

People, Places, and Topics

After 8 (Organization : Benton County, Or.)
Benton County (Or.)
Community organization--Oregon.
Gay rights.
Oregon--Politics and government.

Forms of Material

Photographic prints.


Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Administration, 1988-2001
Series 1 consists of administrative records generated by After 8 and other similar organizations. The series consists of communications, financial documents, meeting minutes, information on the organizational structure of the group, and documents produced during the group's planning retreats. Communications documents include organizational stationary, phone messages, listservs, and documentation of death threats and harassment faced by After 8. Financial documents consist primarily of treasury reports, tax forms, and grants.
Box-Folder 1.1: Communications, 1992-1994
Box-Folder 1.2: Finances, 1991-2001
Box-Folder 1.3: Organizational Structure, 1988-1995
Box-Folder 1.4: Minutes, 1989-1991
Box-Folder 1.5: Planning Retreats, 1990-2001
Series 2: Activism, 1986-2002
Series 2 consists of records pertaining to After 8's activist campaigns. The group's activism has an emphasis on youth work, education, and anti-discrimination. The records include information on Benton County anti-discrimination policy, LGBT hate crime recognition work, a dispute with the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America, After 8's involvement with local school board elections, the Ashbrook School lawsuit, and domestic partnership work. The series also includes two sizeable folders on Oregon Citizen's Alliance activities and media articles, and information on the Human Rights Coalition formed in collaboration with a number of After 8's members.
Box-Folder 1.6: Oregon Citizen's Alliance, 1991-1994
Box-Folder 1.7: Oregon Citizen's Alliance Media Articles, 1991-1994
Box-Folder 1.8: Human Rights Coalition, 1991-1994
Box-Folder 1.9: Benton County Anti-Discrimination, 1991-2001
Box-Folder 1.10: Hate Crimes, 1986-1992
Box-Folder 1.11: Boy Scouts Anti-Discrimination, 1999-2002
Box-Folder 1.12: School Board Elections, 1993-1997
Box-Folder 1.13: Ashbrook School Lawsuit, 1997-1999
Box-Folder 1.14: Domestic Partnerships, 1994-1998
Series 3: Outreach, 1984-2001
Series 3 contains records regarding After 8's community outreach. As stated by organizational co-founder Karuna Neustadt in her oral history interview for the Oregon State Queer archives, a central goal of the group was to gain greater visibility in the community. This series thus includes information about the group's speaker's bureau and related classes. Events represented in the series include "Opening Doors: A Conference for Professionals Who Work with Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth," held in 1997, the 1999 "Queers on Reels" film festival produced in collaboration with Corvallis' Avalon Cinema, and the Harvey Milk Awards Dinners, hosted by After 8 from 1990-1999. Also included in this series are a small number of newsletters published by the group in 2001.
Box-Folder 1.15: Speakers' Bureau, 1984-1995
Box-Folder 1.16: Classes, 1984-1994
Box-Folder 1.17: Youth Conference, 1996-1997
Box-Folder 1.18: Film Festival, 1998-1999
Box-Folder 1.19: Newsletter, 2001
Box-Folder 1.20: Harvey Milk Dinner, 1990-1996
Box-Folder 1.21: Harvey Milk Dinner, 1997-1999
Series 4: Press, 1989-2000
Series 4 consists of press releases, advertisements, and articles created by and about After 8, and published in local publications such as the Corvallis Gazette-Times and the Albany Democrat-Herald. Of particular note are a series of published letters to the editor of the Gazette-Times written by After 8 co-founder Karuna Neustadt. Also included in the series are a number of  articles collected by the group throughout the years on LGBT issues nationwide. These clippings include additional pieces from the Corvallis Gazette-Times, as well as from the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times.
Box-Folder 1.22: Advertising and Press Releases, 1991-1995
Box-Folder 1.23: Articles, 1989-2000
Box-Folder 1.24: LGBT News, 1993-1999
Series 5: Educational Materials, 1988-2001
Series 5 consists of brochures, booklets, flyers, reports, and other resources either published or collected by After 8. Publications cover a wide range of special topics, including gays in the military, gay marriage, and transgender issues. Reports present in the series primarily consist of national reports on matters involving gay and lesbian youth, but also cover relevant legislation such as Colorado's proposed Amendment 2. Though some of these materials were distributed by After 8, many of them were collected for internal education purposes, including information and statistics on heterosexism and homophobia, and a number of resources on organizing and movement-building.
Box-Folder 1.25: Handouts and Resources, 1991-1999
Box-Folder 1.26: Special Topics, 1993-1998
Box-Folder 1.27: Homophobia and Heterosexism, undated
Box-Folder 1.28: Local and National Reports, 1988-1997
Box-Folder 1.29: Research on Organizing, 1989-2001
Box-Folder 1.30: Gay and Lesbian History Month, 1995
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1990s
Series 6 consists of 28 undated photographs. Though unmarked, the photos appear to depict an event (or possibly two) hosted by After 8 in Corvallis, as well as photos taken of the adopt-a-highway sign sponsored by the group, and images of After 8 members participating in a march in Portland.
Box-Folder 1.31: Photographs, Undated
Series 7: Audio Recording, 1993

Series 8 consists of only one item: an audiocassette tape entitled "After 8 Threatening Calls" and dated 10/30/93. The group received a number of threatening calls and emails over the years, including death threats which were investigated by the Corvallis police. In her oral history interview, Karuna Neustadt describes the nature of these communications (00:44:19), and their impact on members of the group. Although there are about four to five inappropriate and/or graphic messages, the recording also includes a number of other miscellaneous messages. These include inquiries about love connections, contact from local organizations such as the Gazette-Times and Valley AIDS Information Network, and more.

A digital recording of the phone messages is available upon request. Threatening calls begin at 00:07:00 and end at 00:09:02.

Box-Folder 2.1: Threatening Calls, 1993
Series 8: Artifacts, 1987-1995
Series 8 consists of activist apparel, as well as a variety of placards used at the Harvey Milk Awards dinners. Apparel in the series includes four t-shirts with activist slogans and one t-shirt with After 8's logo. Of particular note in this series is a collection of over one-hundred buttons and pins, some made and disseminated by After 8, and others collected from marches and other activist events around the nation.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.