Coll. 010: Student Homophile League Collection Finding Aid


Coll. 010: Student Homophile League Collection Finding Aid


The Student Homophile League was a self-described “service group organizing social and political action for the college age community” and was active between 1969 and 1980. First organized by MIT student Stan Tillotson in 1969, the organization became official in April of 1970 with Harry Phillips as the president. SHL was disbanded by the Vice President and the Secretary in December of 1970, and then started with a new executive board and constitution in January of 1971, as described in the letter of the new president William J. Canfield II. The reason given for the rearrangement of the organization was a need for improved structure and communication. Along with its political function, the SHL also served a social function, as reflected by the numerous dance flyers and lists of other activities. There was at times a great deal of dissent within the SHL, which can be seen in the disbanding and restarting of the organization in 1970, and the at times scathing editorials and articles in Liberation, a SHL publication. The majority of the documents in the collection are either undated or are from 1970. The latest document is a letter from 1980 written to David Lynch and other members of the board requesting that all the membership lists for the organization be destroyed and it appears that organization was defunct after that point. Also notable in the collection is the great deal of overlap there was between various Boston homophile groups with the SHL being directly affiliated with Graduate Students Homophile Association of Harvard, B.U. Homophile Club, MIT Homophile Club, Gay Liberation Front, and also working with Eastern Regional Homophile Conference and the North American Conference of Homophile Organizations.


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“Coll. 010: Student Homophile League Collection Finding Aid,” Documented | Digital Collections of The History Project, accessed September 28, 2021,