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Gil Robison papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS1152

Scope and Content

This collection documents Gilmore "Gil" Robison's career fighting for LGBT rights as a political activist and elected official. Materials show his efforts to legalize gay marriage, to create the Atlanta Gay Center, to battle a law that targeting gay men by banning prostitution, and to stop police harassment of the LGBT community. Materials include official records of the Georgia Democratic Party, which contain voter registration documents and lists of representatives, as well as flyers, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings advertising Democratic candidates in the 1977 Atlanta City Council election. The collection also contains surveys issued by First Tuesday Democratic Association polling the candidates on their views on LGBT issues. Other materials include documents from LGBT evangelical groups as well as Catholic organizations performing LGBT outreach, and newsletters organizing events for local Atlanta artists and folk musicians.


  • 1959-1997, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Gilmore “Gil” Robison (1947- ) was born in Macon, Mississippi, to Sue Bess Robison (1912-2017) and John Conrad Robison (1910-1999). The family lived in Scooba, Mississippi, until 1958 when they moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Robison attended Emory University between 1965 and 1966, graduated from San Francisco Art Institute in 1972 with majors in film and photography, and earned a Juris Doctor from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1982. He founded the first Atlanta Gay Center in 1976, and later opened a second location. Robison was active in Atlanta politics as a proponent of LGBT rights. He was one of the first openly gay Georgia politicians, serving on the Georgia State Democratic Convention and the Executive Committee of the Fulton County Democratic Party. In 1988, he was the first openly gay person to run for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. He won the majority vote on the east side of Fulton County. Robison wrote and was a photographer for several alternative Atlanta publications, including the Great Speckled Bird and theMetropolitan Gazette, where he served as the editor between 1980 and 1982. Robison advocated for HIV/AIDS related issues between 1986 and 1990, securing funds through the Georgia General Assembly to fight the epidemic, and working as the first Atlanta attorney dedicated to related legal matters. In 1996 Robison was ordained as a monk in the Drikung Kapyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.


3.34 linear ft. (eight document cases, six oversize folders, four cassettes, and one flat file)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff. Audio visual and oversize materials are listed at the end of the inventory.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Audio recordings made on audio cassettes can be made accessible only through conversion to digital audio. Patrons who request access to the audio content in this collection are responsible for digital conversion costs. WABE 90.1 audio is digital and available upon request.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2009

Related Archival Materials

Gil Robison Papers, Q168, Gender and Sexuality Collections. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2018.

Gil Robison papers
Karissa Kang
July 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305