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Empty Closet archived


The University of Rochester now has an online archive of 438 issues of the Empty Closet, beginning with the first issue published in January 1971 to the April 2011 issue. | The EC was founded by a group of UR student-activists who formed the Gay Liberation Front's Rochester chapter. The newspaper is New York State's oldest LGBT publication, and it's one of the longest running newspapers of its kind in the country, says UR archivist Melissa Mead. | At a time when it's legal for same-sex couples to marry in New York, it may be difficult for some members of the LGBT community, especially younger people, to imagine a time when police often raided and arrested patrons of gay bars in Rochester. Men and women who were openly gay or even suspected of being gay were frequently targets of job and housing discrimination and violence. | The EC, which is now published by the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, has chronicled the gay rights movement, Gay Pride parades throughout the region, the AIDS epidemic, and most recently, marriage equality. | Tim Mains, one of EC's former editors, later became the first openly gay member of Rochester City Council.