A 1985 letter from Don Baker, a gay rights activist, to Dallas City Councilwoman Lori Palmer regarding gay rights.
Don Baker, a gay rights activist, sent this typed letter to Lori Palmer, a Dallas, Texas, city councilwoman. The letter discusses gay rights activism and terminology used to describe gay people. In the letter, Don refers to an ongoing effort to partner with the Dallas city council to “pursue the cause for gay rights.” He refers to an approach taken by the city council of Houston, which collected information on discriminatory practices against gay and lesbian community members, an approach he feels would be acceptable to people who did not support gay rights efforts. The letter serves as an example of the shift in advocacy language from the 1950s to the 1980s, from describing gay men and women as individuals attracted to same-sex partners to describing affectional orientation as a “total emotional, psychological, and erotic state of being.”