Gay Educational Awarness Resources Foundation Records

The Gay Educational Awareness Resource Foundation (Gear Foundation) was created in 1974 in Cleveland, Ohio, to serve the Lesbian and Gay community through social, political, and cultural events, counseling and support groups, and to empower and raise the community’s level of visibility. The Foundation incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1975, and was given tax exempt status in 1978. Early activities included a Gay Hotline-Switchboard and the publication of High Gear, a monthly newspaper covering news and events of interest in the Gay community. The Gear Foundation served as an umbrella organization for other groups and activities, including a Rap Group and a Speaker’s Bureau. In 1977, the Foundation opened the Lesbian-Gay Community Services Center, to serve as a base of operations for its activities. Throughout the 1980s, the Foundation continued to increase its visibility and help form a cohesive Lesbian-Gay community in northeast Ohio. A stronger feminist element was nurtured in the organization with committees such as Lesbians in Gear Hanging Together (LIGHT). The Foundation also became more involved in political activism and lobbying, legal issues, job discrimination, and anti-Gay violence. The Foundation also was active in fundraising, social, and educational services in the fight against AIDS, including an AIDS Hotline. Other AIDS-related work included involvement with the medical community, the Health Issues Task Force, the National Gay Task Force, and the NAMES Project. In 1988, the Gear Foundation officially changed its name to the Lesbian-Gay Community Service Center of Greater Cleveland, which has continued many of the Foundation’s activities. The collection consists of articles of incorporation, bylaws, board minutes, financial records, correspondence, memoranda, grants and funding files of the Foundation, and newsletters and other materials pertaining to general events and issues within the Lesbian-Gay community of northeast Ohio