UNC Charlotte assistant director for sexual and gender diversity, Joshua Burford, has collected 50 boxes worth of materials from the local LGBT community since April 2013. Items from the collection will be on display at the Levine Museum this summer.
Officially, Joshua Burford is the assistant director for sexual and gender diversity at UNC Charlotte’s Multicultural Resource Center.
Unofficially, you can call him a collector – at least since April. He’s amassed 50 boxes worth of local LGBT history, mostly through donations.
The boxes are full of photos, mementos and letters.
During a meeting with special collections librarians, Burford pulls out a thick manila folder from one of the boxes. It's full of hate mail that belonged to an openly gay counseling professor and gay rights activist Bob Barret.
"It is breathtaking and terrible," Burford says. "So like pre-e-mail, people writing him hate mail and putting their name on this stuff."
In one letter from 1994, a man writes: "When the Devil takes you of AIDS, the general public will rejoice." And that’s one of the milder letters. FULL STORY