Grand Rapids LGBT History Project: 1991 GRTV show on Homophobia in Grand Rapids
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.
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, the ordinance campaign and challenging attitudes and stereotypes about the LGBT community.
Both of these videos are now on the Grand Rapids LGBTQ People’s History Project site, thanks to Bryan Ribbens.