The Tapes (2021 - ongoing )

Collection research for the Single Parent Archive started with materials that were already archived at the Special Collections and Archives of Portland State University; audiotapes that were donated by the infamous feminist bookstore, In Other Words, after it shuttered. On the audiotapes are recorded accounts of lesbian mothers and some gay fathers battling for custody and parenting rights over their children after coming out. These stories take place in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Because little information was given about these tapes, permission has been difficult to obtain and audiotapes are not open for public listening. The Single Parent Archive has been researching and contacting who we can to gain permission for these stories to be shared publicly. Meanwhile, the historical context and stories that have been shared through conversations about the tapes are being recorded in this pursuit. Two transcripts of these conversations have been published in the SoFA Journal (Social Forms of Art Journal) put on by @psuartandsocialpractice with a third coming this spring.

🔗 Conversation I 
🔗 Conversation II 
Conversation III (soon to come) 

Co-Founders Marti Clemmons and Rebecca Copper speak to Katharine English and Gilah Tenenbaum over Zoom about the audiotapes. Pictured from left to right, top to bottom: Marti Clemmons, Katharine English, Gilah Tenenbaum, Rebecca Copper. Katharine English, a queer lawyer, won the first lesbian custody case in Multnomah County in the late 1970s. Gilah Tenebaum was our first contact and was gay laywer helping with legal documentation in the community to help queer couples in the late ‘70s and ‘80s.