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Gay Women's Service Center

1971 1972
1168 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Also listed at 1542 Glendale Blvd

Founded February 1971 by Virginia Hoeffding and Del Whan of the Los Angeles Gay Liberation Front, the GWSC was the first organization in the U.S. incorporated as a social service agency exclusively for lesbians.

It was also the first telephone listing in Los Angeles containing the word "gay," made possible by a phone company administrator who also happened to be a lesbian.

There were efforts from Morris Kight and the Gay Community Services Center to absorb all startup lesbian service centers in order to consolidate the LGBT community's political power. Sharon Raphael and Mina Meyer from the Gay Women's Service Center proved reluctant to incorporate. They had concerns "joining with the men because we felt something would be lost." However, many volunteers left the Women's Service Center and joined the Gay Community Services Center, and eventually Raphael and Meyer conceded. In good faith, they donated their furniture and took leadership roles. However, Meyer "left the Center because of the sexism. It was just intolerable."

Attr — SurveyLA: LGBT Historic Context Statement; Gay L.A. pp.170-171; Baltza, Katie, Before AIDS: Gay Health Politics in the 1970s pp. 51-53