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Madeline D. Davis

Born: 1940
Death: 2021

Madeline Davis was a life-long activist for gay and lesbian rights.  She was a founding member and president of the Mattachine Society of the Niagara Frontier, the region's first gay liberation organization. In fall 1972, along with Margaret Small, Davis taught the course "Lesbianism: a Cultural, Personal and Political View," for the University at Buffalo's Women's Studies College.  It was the first such course taught in the United States.

In the late 1970s, while teaching a class with UB professor Elizabeth L. Kennedy, Davis began researching local lesbian history.  This research led to the formation of the Buffalo Women's Oral History Project.  In 1993, Kennedy and Davis co-authored the book "Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: the History of a Lesbian Community."  Davis' research materials for the book later became the Dr. Madeline Davis LGBTQ Archive of Western New York, at Buffalo State College.

Madeline Davis was a graduate of the University at Buffalo, earning a B.A. English (1963), and Master of Library Science (1969).

  • Sources:
    • Anderson, Dale.  "Madeline Davis, 80, historian, trailblazer for gay, lesbian acceptance." Buffalo News.
    • 3/7/00-26: The Colleges course offering catalogs 
    • 3/5/00-3: University at Buffalo Commencement Programs

Affiliation(s): Libraries, Alumnus
Record Group(s): 13, 30
Biographical File Contains:
  • Obituary