Birds of a Feather

LGBT Legal History Project

Videos will be released throughout October


Conversations with . . .

a historian, law students and lawyers of
the 1970s, and a current law student

Trained in history and law, Professor David  Reichard’s academic career has concentrated on 19th and 20th century U.S. social, political and legal history. He is completing a book, tentatively titled Here Are My People: LGBT College Student Organizing in California, 1967-1978, focusing on the origins of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) student politics in California. David wrote the preface for the Birds of a Feather memory book.  The book is titled The Seventies: A Breakthrough Decade for LGBT Rights.  In this video, he discusses LGBT student organizing in the 1970s in considerable detail, at the undergraduate level as well as in law schools.

Full Version
(40 min.)  Link        Short Version (5 min.)  Link
Mary Stevens (Rutgers Law 1977) was an advocate for racial equality in the 1960s and a LGBT rights advocate in the 1970s. In law school she was an editor of the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, a legal advisor to the National Gay Task Force, and on the board of Gay Rights National Lobby. Mary helped organize the first lesbian law conference in the United States in 1977. She embraced her bisexuality in the 1970s and in the 1980s Mary and her husband were foster parents to 37 children.  In this video, Mary discusses her life before, during, and after law school, including stories about her coming out process.

Full Version
(30 min.)  Link       Short Version (5 min.)  Link
Stephen Lachs (UCLA Law 1963) was a mentor to law students who formed the first gay law students association in the nation in 1972. He was then a public defender. Steve was on the board of directors of the Gay Community Services Center in Los Angeles during the 1970s. In the mid-1970s, he served as a court commissioner. In 1979, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Steve to the Los Angles County Superior Court, making him the first openly gay judge in the nation.  In this video, Steve discusses his coming out process in undergraduate school, his life in law school, his early legal career, his initiation into LGBT politics, and his appointment as a judge.

Full Version
(49 min.)  Link    Short Version (5 min.)  Link
Barbara Kritchevsky (Harvard Law 1980) became one of the early members of the first gay law student group at Harvard. Founded by fellow student Jose Gomez, it was known as the Committee on Gay Legal Issues. In 1978, Barbara and Jose pressed the career placement office to insist that the school deny services to employers unless they signed a sexual orientation nondiscrimination policy. In 1981, the Harvard Women’s Law Journal published an article by Barbara titled “The Unmarried Woman’s Right to Artificial Insemination: A Call for an Expanded Definition of Family. In this video, she discusses her life as a law student, lawyer, and a law professor.
Full Version (34 min.)  Link    Short Version (5 min.)  Link
George Raya (Thomas Jefferson Law 1981) was a founding member of the gay law student association at UC Berkeley in 1973. He successfully advocated for the city council in Berkeley to enact a sexual orientation nondiscrimination law that same year. With backing from financial and political power brokers in San Francisco, George moved to Sacramento and became the first paid gay rights lobbyist in the nation. His advocacy shifted to AIDS issues in the 1980s.  In this video, George discusses his first experiences as an LGBT rights activist during his undergraduate days in the 1960s, his life as a law student, and his adventures as a lobbyist in the 1970s.
Full Version (33 min.)  Link     Short Version (5 min.)  Link
Phyllis Frye (U of Houston Law 1981) was born a biological male but identified as a female early in life. The transition from Phillip to Phyllis was a difficult journey. After experiencing years of discrimination, Phyllis went to law school where she formed a gay law student group. She successfully lobbied the city council to repeal a cross-dressing law. After practicing law for years, Phyllis was appointed to the bench in Houston.  She  is regarded as the first open transgender person in the nation to be appointed as a judge.  In this video, Phyllis discusses her aptitude for engineering, military career, marriages, law school days, law practice, and the politics behind her judicial appointment.
Full Version (42 min.)  Link     Short Version (5 min.)  Link

A 3L student at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, María de los Ángeles Reyes Olmedo (they/them) is a Mexican immigrant and first-generation higher education student who attended Cal Poly Pomona, where they earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Gender, Ethnic, and Multicultural Studies (with a focus on Latinx/Chicanx Studies) and a minor in Spanish. María wrote a chapter for the Birds of a Feather memory book discussing the post-1970s emergence of open nonbinary, transgender, and students of color as LGBT activists.  In this video, Maria discusses their research on this issue and comments on the challenges facing the current generation of LGBT law students.

Full Version (21 min.)  Link     Short Version (5 min.) Link 

OCTOBER 1 - 31, 2022
OCTOBER 11, 2022