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Collection Overview

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

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Title:John C. Graves papers
Dates:1971-1996 (bulk 1975-1980)
Call Number:M83

Biographical Note

John C. Graves was an activist involved in the gay liberation movement in Boston in the 1970s. He was born in 1938 and raised in New York City. He received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Princeton University. Between 1964 and 1974, he was a philosophy professor at MIT. After coming out of the closet in 1972, he became actively involved in mental health, educational, and spiritual assistance programs for Boston's gay community. He was also active in student organizations and founded the Gay Academic Union of New England in 1974. In that same year, Graves developed and taught the first Gay Studies course at MIT.

In 1974, he left MIT and became a psychotherapist at the Homophile Community Health Service in Boston, which served Boston's gay community with affirmative, rather than change-oriented, counseling. The Homophile Community Health Service provided services and educational programs to meet the mental health needs of the New England lesbian and gay community. During Graves' involvement, Homophile Community Health Service evolved from a volunteer, peer counseling service to a licensed and professionally staffed community mental health clinic. The Homophile Community Health Service was affiliated with the Boston University Mental Health Treatment, Training, and Research Center. The Institute of Homophile Studies (an educational division of the Homophile Community Health Service) offered college-level courses on homosexuality in literature, history, and contemporary society. The Boston Gay Hotline, a branch of Homophile Community Health Service, offered counseling, information, referrals and crisis intervention for the gay community, their relatives, friends and associates. Graves left the Homophile Community Health Service in 1980. Homophile Community Health Service became known as the Gay and Lesbian Counseling Services in 1983.

Graves was also involved in the formation of the Boston Center for Lesbians and Gay Men, serving as a steering and board member between 1987 and 1988. The Center closed in 1992. An opera singer with the Boston Concert Opera, he was also a member of the Boston Gay Men's Chorus in the late 1980s.

Graves moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1990.

Graves, John C. "Many Road Traveled: The Autobiography of John C. Graves." S.l. : Economy Printing, 2000. HQ 75.8 .G73 A3 2000.