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Purchase the Pink Lady

Hello friends. We need your help purchasing the Pink Lady; home of the SMA.

The Pink Lady, located in Holyoke, MA, is home to thousands of materials focused on the LGBTQIA+ community.

Since we officially registered as a non-profit in August of 2014 it has been our mission to fully purchase the Pink Lady so that it is owned by the non-profit forever…

…but we can’t do it alone. We need your help and support. Please consider making a donation today — and don’t forget to spread the word!

From housing texts for public access like Leslie Feinberg’s Transgender Warrior,* pulling trans-histories from the histories that nearly erased them, to accounts of pre-Stonewall gay bar life from gay voices* to unearthing the stories of local queer leaders like Marian Turner* we want to continue being a force in changing this tide–and so we write to you with both excitement and humility about a chance to be both a steward and part of queer history.  On behalf of the Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation (SMEF), home of the Sexual Minorities Archives (SMA), we ask you to join us in helping to purchase the land and house in Holyoke, Massachusetts that holds more than 30,000 articles of LBGTQI-media in this community-based archives.

Founded in Chicago in 1974 and then relocated to Western Mass in 1979, the SMA now resides in the city of Holyoke in a Queen Anne Victorian Turret-Style house affectionately known as the Pink Lady—built in 1885. Prior to trans man and curator Ben Power purchasing the house, it had been owned by people in our LGBTQIA community — the house itself a part of local queer history.  The three-story Victorian holds the material contents of the SMA; including two separate libraries; Out Books on Wheels and the Leslie Feinberg Library. Out Books on Wheels (OBOW) is a LGBTQI+ lending library containing an additional 4,000 books and other media that circulate beyond the SMA for free.  The Leslie Feinberg Library contains 1,500 books and other print mateirals that were Feinberg’s personal research library, donated by the writer/activist and housed in the SMA’s new Sylvia Rivera Reading Room.  The collection, the building and the surrounding grounds are a beautiful home that our greater community deserves to own!

Our goal is to raise $125,000 towards the purchase of the Pink Lady, to install a ramp making the space wheelchair-accessible and to ensure a more permanent home for tens of thousands of LGBTQI+ voices. 

As the only trans-curated queer archives in the country that is entirely based in the community–not held within an academic institution but certainly benefiting many people associated with universities — we’re asking for the community that benefits and stands to benefit from this rich resource to help ensure its richness.  Any donation to the SMA is tax deductible due to the SMEF fully registered as a 501(c)3 entity — though, our hope is that beyond this assurance you’ll find value in being a conservator of queer history for its own sake.