1991 GRTV Show provides a window into past organizing in Grand Rapids by the LGBTQ Community

In 1991, the Lesbian and Gay Network of West Michigan had begun its campaign to get the City of Grand Rapids to pass an ordinance that would provide anti-discrimination protections for the LGBT community.Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 5.14.09 AM

The ordinance did not pass until 1994, but for three years people were talking about this issue, organizing and raising awareness.

A Grand Rapids City High student named Gene Sampson, hosted a show on the Grand Rapids Cable Access Channel GRTV in 1991, which featured two members of the Lesbian and Gay Network, Dr. Holly Van Scoy and Bryan Ribbens. The other two guests on the show were Bill & Jan Van Oosterhout, who at the time were members of PFLAG – Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

The show is in two parts, where Gene and his guests talk about homophobia in West Michigan, the ordinance campaign and challenging attitudes and stereotypes about the LGBTQ community.

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