The story of Pat Larson and Jennie Meyer is one for the lesbian history books.
They met in 1961 when Meyer was in the U. S. Air Force. She went AWOL to be with Larson, and then arrested and court-martialed for her actions.
Meyer eventually received an honorable discharge when she briefly wed a gay man, who was in the closet and wanted to marry in an effort to climb the corporate ladder.
Larson, 87, and Meyer, 82, have been together ever since, almost 60 years.
LESBIAN HISTORY EXHIBIT
Their story is told in “Out of the Box: Rare or Unseen Photos,” an exhibit of images from the West Hollywood-based June Mazer Lesbian Archives, the largest collection on the West Coast dedicated to preserving lesbian and feminist culture and history.
“Out of the Box” features photographs and memorabilia — spanning almost 100 years— from more than 20 collections at the Mazer, which celebrated the grand re-opening of its space in West Hollywood at the Werle Building.
POWERFUL, INTIMATE IMAGES
The purpose of the exhibit is to show some of the most powerful and intimate images in the archives.
“The women pictured represent a diverse array of figures, and each photo celebrates aspects of their personal stories and identities and calls attention to the beauty and influence of their ordinary lives,” according to a statement from the archives.
While some photographs reveal pain, solitude and political pushback, “the exhibit emphasizes the perseverance and strength of self-love and community that allow lesbians to live, thrive and continue making memories and legacies.”
JUNE MAZER ARCHIVES
The non-profit archives was founded in 1981 in Oakland. It moved to Southern California in 1985, and into the Werle Building – a 1940 Streamline Moderne structure owned by the City of West Hollywood – in 1989.
The organization has been run by volunteers for most of its 37 years, and has operated thanks to private donors and the City of West Hollywood.