Aristide Joseph "A.J." Laurent
was a U.S. Airman, writer, publisher, printer, and pioneer activist for Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities. He clandestinely co-founded
The Advocate—the oldest and largest LGBT publication in the
United States—in the basement studios of ABC Television in 1967, two years prior to the
infamous Stonewall Riots of NYC which marked the beginning of the gay liberation
movement in America. Consisting primarily of clippings, photographs, correspondence,
scrapbooks, and memorabilia, the Aristide J. Laurent Collection documents aspects of
Laurent's personal life and advocacy involvement, and provides a unique perspective
for considering the social and political history of the early LGBT rights
Aristide Joseph "A.J." Laurent was born in Magnolia Springs, Alabama on
September 15, 1941 to farm hand Duval "Buck" Laurent and Elizabeth
"Betty" Weeks. He had one younger sister, Carol Elizabeth Weeks (1945-2010).
After graduating from Weeks High School in 1960, he enlisted in the United States Air
Force and served four years, first as a signals intelligence operator in Karamursel,
Turkey and later as an instructor at the Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi.
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s)
of this collection has not been transferred to California State University,
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that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.
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The collection is open for research use.