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Leo Garza Demonstration (1993)

Happy Foundation

Sound | 1993

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  •  Rebecca Flores, then Texas director of United Farm Workers, recounts the difficulty the organization experienced in placing an advertisement in the San Antonio Express-News 
  •  Steve Bailey of the San Antonio Lesbian and Gay Media Project explains the reason for the protest 
  •  Happy Foundation Director Gene Elder talks with a writer for an underground LGBTQ newsletter, The Underbelt 
  •  A demonstrator shares his coming out story 
  •  The protest attracts the attention of television news cameras 
  •  A representative of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas describes one piece of legislation she is following in the Texas Legislature 
 
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This home video captures a demonstration outside the Hertzberg Circus Museum in San Antonio on February 24, 1993. Organized by the San Antonio Lesbian and Gay Media Project, the protest rebuked the inclusion of work by Leo Garza in a political cartoon exhibition opening at the museum. Garza was a political cartoonist for the San Antonio Express-News. The demonstrators accused Garza—and, by extension, the Express-News—of promoting discriminatory representations of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community.
The Happy Foundation is a non-profit archive dedicated to the preservation of San Antonio’s LGBTQ history. Founder and curator Gene Elder began collecting materials in 1988, ultimately moving the collection to a back room of the downtown gay nightclub Bonham Exchange. The organization is named after Arthur “Happy” Veltman, a San Antonio entrepreneur who died of AIDS in 1988. In addition to owning multiple gay bars, including Bonham Exchange, Veltman was also involved in the development of the San Antonio River Walk and Blue Star Arts Complex.