Job Opportunities

Archives Assistant (temporary/part-time)

Lambda Archives of San Diego (LASD) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that holds a wealth of historical and contemporary materials documenting the LGBTQ+ community in the San Diego, Northern Baja California, and Imperial County region. We are seeking a temporary ARCHIVES ASSISTANT (part-time) to begin work immediately on a project from January to June 2022. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted, so it is recommended that you apply ASAP. If we would like to set up an interview with you, we will contact you via email.

Lambda Archives of San Diego is carrying out a grant-funded project that is aligned with our ongoing, intentional efforts to preserve the histories of Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC) in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as to create a physical environment that nurtures accountability. Archives are ultimately about people, so as archives workers, not only do we have a responsibility to the records that we preserve, but we have a responsibility to address historical and present harms in the spaces in which we interact. This project has two interconnected parts: 1) to collect and/or process and preserve materials or small collections donated by and/or feature BIPOC in the LGBTQ+ community; and 2) to help further develop an antiracist/anti-oppressive approach for all aspects of archival work, including interpersonal engagement. It is our hope that our work will provide insight into building and fostering an organization-wide system of doing that acknowledges and continually works towards preventing, mitigating, addressing, and redressing harm as an archival imperative. This project is not intended to be a solution to any extent nor a how-to initiative; it is one exploratory element intended to inform how we approach archival work and to foster resistance to the ways in which archives might reproduce harm.

Position Description
Under the direction of the Head Archivist, the Archives Assistant will process, describe, and preserve materials that show histories of BIPOC in the LGBTQ+ community. Because our process is as significant as what we produce or accomplish, the Archives Assistant will reflect on and take robust, organized notes about their own work activities and processes, including affective responses to the materials they work with, their work environment, and interpersonal communications. To help further develop our approach to all aspects of archival work, the Archives Assistant will regularly engage in critically reflective discussions with the Head Archivist about topics that can be challenging, such as the ways in which harm is reproduced in archives; identifying tools of white supremacy in archives; the ways in which archives workers hold power; and the (in)visibility of trans narratives in historical documentation. The Archives Assistant will also communicate with BIPOC in the LGBTQ+ community to learn how LASD can continue to build an equitable space for the community, as well as how LASD can support their archival interests. The Archives Assistant will also engage with the community via short blog posts on our website, our listserv and/or social media, and in person once LASD reopens. Towards the end of the project, the Archives Assistant will provide a final report of their reflections, the knowledge and skills they gained, challenges they experienced, and recommendations for the future. Other duties may be assigned in support of our mission.

Please note: The Archives Assistant can carry out some work remotely, but other tasks must be done onsite and per safety guidelines concerning COVID-19.

–Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination
–In-depth knowledge or familiarity working or volunteering with an organization or informal initiative that explicitly serves Black or Indigenous communities and/or communities of color
–In-depth knowledge or familiarity working or volunteering with an organization or informal initiative that explicitly serves the LGBTQ+ community
–Demonstrated ability to take clear, concise and highly organized notes
–High level of comfort to: 1) assist users of the archives; 2) reflect on and document your work activities on a daily basis; 3) discuss how archives intersect race, racism, ableism, class, gender, gender expression, sexuality, settler colonialism, white feminism, and/or white supremacy
–A sincere interest in archives, oral histories, storytelling, LGBTQ+ history, and/or capacity-building in the LGBTQ+ community
–Ability to work independently and collaboratively with the Head Archivist, and communicate clearly with staff members, interns, volunteers, and/or users of the archives
–Excellent organization skills
–Ability to work remotely and communicate via Zoom

Preferred requirements
–General experience (as staff, a volunteer and/or intern) working in archives or with historical materials and/or describing people in images
–Comfortable using WordPress or Weebly, Excel spreadsheets and/or social media sites
–Ability to communicate via Slack (project management tool)

The pay rate of this temporary part-time staff position is $19.00 per hour. Work hours will not exceed 12 hours per week, but are flexible Monday-Friday. Working on a Saturday and/or Sunday may be permitted upon approval by the Head Archivist.

Work environment
Lambda Archives of San Diego is currently led by a formally-trained/degreed archivist who is a queer, nonbinary person of color and concerned with systemic issues that impact people and records in archives, particularly BIPOC. Currently, all staff members are part of the LGBTQ+ community, as are most of the Board of Directors.

Lambda Archives acknowledges that some people are sensitive to chemicals/scents that are found in everyday products. Therefore, we work towards a fragrance-free environment in order to make our physical space more accessible. Aside from chemicals/scents that are associated with archival materials and supplies, we do not use scented cleaning products or air fresheners. We ask that staff and visitors refrain from using perfume, cologne, and other scented products such as deodorant, lotion and hair products. For more information, please visit Think Before You Stink.

All staff members are fully vaccinated, continue to wear masks, and practice social distancing.

Complete the application form and upload the requested materials listed below. Due to the pandemic, we cannot accept applications in person.

[1] A current resume -OR- an organized list of main points outlining your experience, knowledge, and skills through education, internships, jobs, parenting, projects that you led, training, and/or volunteerships.

[2] A statement that addresses all points below. This can be in the form of a one-page letter (Word or PDF), slides (5 max), or a YouTube or Vimeo video of you (5 minutes max).
●  How did you find out about the Archives Assistant position and why are you
interested in it?
●  Describe how your experience, knowledge and skills will help you carry out
the responsibilities of the position. This can be a reflection on your
activist work, education, internships, jobs, parenting, personal projects, and/or
●  Describe for us something that you came across recently that immediately impacted
you in some way. This could be a book, news story, photograph, piece of art,
podcast, scene from a television show or movie, social media post, something
that a friend or relative said the other day, something in nature, or a song. The
possibilities are endless.

[3] The contact information of two (2) people who you are not related to and can attest to your experience, knowledge, abilities, and interpersonal skills. Include their name, pronouns, email address, telephone number, and one word or sentence that describes their relationship to you.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information. To request a reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, please email or call (619) 520-1922.

[Posted 12/10/2021]

Pride + Gratitude: a Brief Reflection

Joyce Gabiola, Head Archivist
June 7, 2021


Images from Lambda Archives of San Diego. Pride Photo Collection (L2013.63): San Diego LGBTQ Pride Festival, 1999 (left); San Diego LGBTQ Pride Parade, 2000 (right).

A few days ago, I thought about how my relationship with Pride has differed since coming out as gay in college. At that time, Pride meant that I could be closer to my full self in public (but still unknown to my parents). It meant that I would attend the Pride festival and freely be in a crowd of people who I felt were just like me. It meant that I would march in the Pride parade as a member of a community organization or cheer from the sidewalk with my friends. As this was all in the southern part of Texas in the month of June, it also meant that I was always drenched with sweat. It also meant that, year after year, I would feel more empowered to come out to more people, including my parents, eventually. It meant that in June being gay/queer would temporarily seem mainstream rather than ‘other’. Decades later, this feeling has become the norm for me. As far as my queerness, I don’t feel so much as ‘other’ anymore. And I acknowledge that this feeling is a privilege.

About a month ago or so, I recall saying to myself, “Oh yeah, I’m queer.” It’s not that I’ve forgotten myself nor disengaged from my queerness. (I lead a LGBTQ community organization, after all.) I’ve just grown to know much more about myself in different ways, including my limitations and coping methods, and I’m much more comfortable with myself and with navigating the world as a queer person of color. When I think about how scared I was as a child that someone would find out “my secret”, I think about my own child and how I want to shield them from that feeling–that fear or sadness that emerges when one (read: a child!) feels that their family and friends will reject them, be disgusted by them, or not love them anymore for who they are.

A few days ago, as I held my 18-month old and placed them on my lap, I told them that June is known as Pride month, or LGBTQ Pride month, and that it is celebrated everywhere in different ways. Then I said to my partner that we need to buy children’s books about Stonewall. But are there any? As I’m entrenched in the world of libraries, my children’s literature librarian network has provided me with a list of titles (see below) that also include books about Stonewall specifically, not just Pride celebrations.

I didn’t learn about Stonewall until much later post-coming out, which is kind of a travesty. So I want to make sure that my child grows up knowing about the history of Pride, the spark of the LGBTQ rights movement–the uprising of Black and Brown trans women who protested police harassment. I want them to know who Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P.Johnson are before any of the U.S. presidents. I want them to know that today I don’t feel so much as ‘other’ because in 1969 Sylvia and Marsha, with others alongside them, pushed back against a system of hate and violence. Today, I don’t feel so much as ‘other’ because of you and many others who resisted and persisted before me.

In resistance, pride & gratitude, Y’ALL!
Joyce, Head Archivist

Check out this blog post on our website!
Whitewashing Stonewall: Reflections on Racism in the LGBTQ Community
by Gabrielle Garcia, a project assistant at Lambda Archives

Check out these children’s books about Pride + Stonewall!
Pride 1 2 3 (board book – up to age 3)
Michael Joosten / Illus. Wednesday Holmes
Pride Colors (board book – up to age 3)
Robin Stevenson
Our Rainbow (board book – up to age 3)
Little Bee Books
Pride Puppy (ages 3-5)
Robin Stevenson / Illus. Julie McLaughlin
Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution (picture book; ages 3-8)
Joy Michael Ellison / Illus. Teshika Silver
This Day in June (ages 4-8)
Gayle E. Pitman / Illus. Kristyna Litten
What Was Stonewall? (ages 8-12)
Nico Medina / Illus. Jake Murray
Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets (ages 9-11)
Gayle E. Pitman

Joyce Gabiola (they/them) works as the Head Archivist of Lambda Archives and a founding editor of up//root, a We Here publication. They are a queer, nonbinary Filipinx American who navigates our capitalist society with class and educational privilege. Their solo essay about countering archival under-/misrepresentation is part of the forthcoming anthology, Q&A: Voices From Queer Asian North America (Temple University Press, July 2021).

200 Years of Freedom for Whom?

200 Years of Freedom for Whom?
Red Scare and the Depoliticization of San Diego Gay Pride 1976

by Gabrielle Garcia
Published May 17, 2021

“200 Years of Freedom for Whom?” Back, Q0858, L2008.08 Gary Gulley Collection, 1976.
“200 Years of Freedom for Whom?” Front, Q0858, L2008.08 Gary Gulley Collection, 1976.

While scanning objects from an unnamed flat file drawer of miscellaneous materials from San Diego Pride events, Diversionary Theatre, and a private artist, I came across a small double-sided flyer from 1976 that immediately caught my eye. The words “200 Years of Freedom for Whom?” across the top of the first page are bold and unrelenting. As of 1976, the United States celebrated its 200th anniversary of existence, a country built and maintained by the systemic exploitation and disenfranchisement of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, women, LGBTQ folks, disabled people, immigrants, and poor and working class people. 1976 was also the year of the second permitted San Diego Pride Parade, entitled “Gay Spirit”, six years after the events at the Stonewall Inn in New York.1 LGBTQ pride marches and events across the United States were born out of the Stonewall Uprising, led by Black and brown queer and trans folks in response to homophobic, transphobic, racist, and classist police violence in 1969. It is necessary to say that LGBTQ pride owes its very existence to the most marginalized community members who frequented the Stonewall Inn, including butch lesbians, trans folks, houseless folks, sex workers, drag queens, people of color, and those at the overlaps of these identities.

Upon a closer look, this flyer reveals that in the lead up to the 1976 Gay Pride Parade, the San Diego pride commitee made decisions to prohibit any “political” signage to be used in the march, shortly thereafter prohibiting any signage pertaining to a group or organization. Such decisions were reached due to pressure by the Imperial Court de San Diego and the San Diego Tavern Guild to shut out the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP), who were accused of being too “dominating” at the 1975 pride with their signage. These decisions were intended to force SWP members as well as people of other groups, political or not, to be “just a mass of undefined people except for ‘gay pride’ at the beginning and end of the parade,” a flattening of difference and the multi-facetedness of the community for a false unity. “The Center, MCC-San Diego, MCC-Oceanside, Military Off-Limits Defense Fund, The Imperial Court of San Diego, Dignity of San Diego, and the San Diego Tavern Guild all withdrew [their participation] at the time” leading up to the march,2 in response to this flyer that was being circulated by SWP to bring attention to the hypocrisy and injustice of such behavior. Jeri Dilno, one of the pride organizers at the time—even with her own reservations about SWP’s “dominant” presence—had said that SWP “was one of the only political groups that identified LGBTQ rights as a part of their platform”.3 Such censoring, blatant targeting against SWP (despite their pro-LGBTQ platform), and coordinated attempts to depoliticize pride and LGBTQ identity are contrary to pride’s very origins and insulting to the lived realities of its most disenfranchised community members. This behavior also embodies the same conservative Cold War anti-communism that actively targeted LGBTQ folks, quashed labor unions and struggles, and destroyed millions of lives abroad through war, occupation, coups, assassinations, and sanctions.

Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Riveria, two foremothers of the Stonewall Uprising, did not commit to their activism with Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR)—a radical political collective that conducted political protest and demonstrations, held meetings, and provided housing and support to homeless LGBT youth and sex workers—to have their legacies depoliticized. The patrons of the Stonewall Inn and community members did not fight back against the police for their efforts to be depoliticized. The Stonewall Uprising was political. LGBTQ Pride is political. The issues, oppression, and violence that the most marginalized in our community face, including homelessness, poverty, police violence, immigration violence, and  military violence worldwide, are perpetuated and maintained by capitalism, colonialism, and white supremacy. The justice, life, and freedom of LGBTQ people are entwined with the justice, life, and freedom of other folks of marginalized backgrounds who are also LGBTQ. I’m reminded of a quote that encompasses this understanding:

“There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”
— Audre Lorde

LGBTQ Pride must be as multi-faceted in its protest, organizing, and celebration as its community members are. We as a community cannot be free until the most marginalized of us are free. We cannot allow such harmful divisiveness to repeat AND we must examine the ways in which privileged LGBTQ folks can actively harm other LGBTQ community members of other oppressed backgrounds. We must examine the roles that law enforcement, the military, and the Republican and Democractic parties have played historically and actively continue to play in exploiting and harming LGBTQ folks, especially BIPOC, disabled, immigrant, poor and working class, and houseless folks. Addressing the uncomfortable subject of assimilation into violent institutions, such as with the recent repeal of the military trans ban or the inclusion of LGBTQ people in American police forces, are vital to challenging the goals and direction of the broader LGBTQ community. What does it mean to gain access to inherently violent occupations and institutions that actively oppresses and disenfranchises marginalized people domestically and abroad as a member of a marginalized community? What lines do we draw? What compromises do we make? Which hypocrisies and contradictions are tolerable and which aren’t? There are no clear cut answers to these questions, but they must be reckoned with if we as a community continue to espouse goals of equity and justice.

Marchers behind a banner challenging the Bicentennial, 1976. Gary Gulley Collection (P109.007), Lambda Archives of San Diego.
“Gay Spirit” button, 1976. Button and Pin Collection, Lambda Archives of San Diego.4

1“1976 ‘Gay Spirit,’” San Diego Pride Timeline, Out on the Left Coast, last modified October 11, 2017,
2“1976,” San Diego Pride, last modified June 5, 2020,
3San Diego Pride, “Jeri Dilno, ‘1976,’” Youtube video, 02:14, posted April 3, 2016,
4“1976 ‘Gay Spirit,’” San Diego Pride Timeline, Out on the Left Coast, last modified October 11, 2017,

Gabrielle Garcia (they/he/she) is a Project Assistant at Lambda Archives. He is a white Cuban Jewish non-binary butch lesbian with class and educational privilege and abolitionist left politics. Additionally, they are an artist and designer, aspiring archivist, and a 2019 graduate from Scripps College with a BA in Media Studies and two minors in Art and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. She is interested in the intersections of art, media, film, publishing, archives, and the LGBTQ community (especially butch lesbians). They will be applying to library and information science masters programs this winter.

Reflections on Working in a Community Archives During a Pandemic

by Gabrielle Garcia
Published April 16, 2021**

There’s something particularly chilling about handling memorial objects for local loved ones who had passed from HIV/AIDS while living through a devastating pandemic where the same government negligence continues to exacerbate human loss. 

Inventorying and handling these objects are a gentle and deliberate ceremony. Each one is touched with care and viewed with focused intention. As a 23 year old lesbian, these physical memories are a solemn reminder of the generation of LGBTQ community members we have lost to HIV/AIDS. I see an individual who was born the same year as my mother and my heart aches for this life and all these lives that had been cut so tragically short. There is so much grief and love to be held. In a country sacked by the coronavirus pandemic with 300,000+ deaths within less than a year, the pain is an unbearable weight. 

On the other hand, there is anger swirling inside me, because similar issues—a for-profit healthcare system, severely lacking public program infrastructure, and government and economic systems that choose profit over human life—are STILL bearing their full force on the most marginalized, leading to countless preventable deaths. The scapegoating within the derogatory euphemisms, “gay disease” and “China virus” are emblematic of the common theme of dehumanization in governmental and societal reactions to both viruses. At the same time, it’s crucial to remember how the Ronald Reagan administration did not publicly acknowledge the existence of AIDS until 4 years after the epidemic in the US began and how many people with AIDS were denied medical care (both related to and unrelated to their AIDS diagnosis)1 or provided less favorable treatment due to homophobia and transphobia.  

I’m grateful that Lambda Archives has been able to house these crucial items and memories.2 If we don’t archive our stories, histories, and memories…who will? The transmission of knowledge, memory, and joy between different generations of LGBTQ folks is of utmost importance for our survival, connection, and health. There are many lessons to be learned from past and present AIDS activism and organizing, including the formation of mutual aid networks and support systems that continue to blossom now. 

In addition to my powerful interactions with HIV/AIDS related materials, taking inventory of other items in the California State Library (CSL) Project has also been an emotional experience during the pandemic. Coming across an intimate Sinister Wisdom poster3 stirred up feelings of longing that have been a gnawing thorn in an era of necessary social distancing. At the same time, seeing a poster for a 1990’s lecture by Angela Davis at UCSD4 made me reflect on the continued importance of her abolitionist, anti-racist work today, having not too long ago finished reading her books, Are Prisons Obsolete? and Freedom is a Constant Struggle

Encountering materials from local LGBTQ bars and theaters, such as Diversionary Theatre and The Flame Nightclub, are reminders of the physical gathering spaces that have been restricted or otherwise lost to us. The case of The Flame, which had been shut down years ago and is now being turned into apartments, is a stark reminder of the dwindling number of lesbian/queer womxn’s bars in the United States and the danger they are in during these pandemic times. There are 15 such bars left.5 Gossip Grill is presently San Diego’s (and California’s) only lesbian bar and is one of the two remaining lesbian bars on the west coast. Being able to access such a space (prior to COVID-19) as a young adult has brought me closer to my local community and allowed me to confidently explore my butchness and my lesbianism. 

While my role as a Project Assistant at LASD has only just begun, I have deeply experienced the archives’ emotional and educational potency. I look forward to learning more about the materials I’ve encountered so far and the many more in the collections. A key lesson that emerges from this early experience is that archives must have continuous connections with the local community. Even in our socially distanced and crisis-filled present, we must actively cultivate our relationships and forge anti-racist and anti-oppressive community.

1. If you’ve read Are Prisons Obsolete? and/or Freedom is a Constant Struggle, what are your thoughts on the connection between their contents and memory work and archives?
2. What LGBTQ spaces have you been missing in these pandemic times?

Please either comment your thoughts below or email

**This blog post was written in December 2020 and refers to an earlier stage of the CSL project.
1 A local example of this was the case of Robert Walsh who was unfairly denied care from a chiropractor due to his HIV/AIDS diagnosis. Footage of his deposition for the lawsuit against this discrimination can be found here:
2 While writing this, my project manager, Dana, informed me of a notebook in Lambda Archives’ collection belonging to Gary Cheatham (L2015.11), which contains information about the people with AIDS that Gary took care of before he himself passed from AIDS-related complications. I’m filled with an eagerness to view such a precious item and learn about the lives it contains, but also an anticipating ache in response to the emotional weight of this haunting memory.
3 L2014.01. Sinister Wisdom is a multicultural lesbian literary and art journal established in 1976.
4 L2011.13. Vertez Burks Collection, Lambda Archives of San Diego.

Gabrielle Garcia (they/he/she) is a Project Assistant at Lambda Archives. He is a white Cuban Jewish non-binary butch lesbian with class and educational privilege and abolitionist left politics. Additionally, they are an artist and designer, aspiring archivist, and a 2019 graduate from Scripps College with a BA in Media Studies and two minors in Art and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. She is interested in the intersections of art, media, film, publishing, archives, and the LGBTQ community (especially butch lesbians). They will be applying to library and information science masters programs this winter.

A Reflection on Native American Intellectual Property Issues

by Gabrielle Garcia
Published April 14, 2021


After watching the “Native American Intellectual Property Issues” webinar, the fourth in a five-part series regarding the Protocols of Native American Materials, several themes from the discussion between the speakers from the Passamaquoddy People Project stood out to me:

  1. Trust building and engagement with communities of origin
  2. Communities of origin being formally recognized as intellectual property rights owners and dictating use and attribution protocols
  3. The power of collections when accessible to and interacted with by communities of origin

These three themes are particularly relevant to the work being done at Lambda Archives with materials relating to San Diego’s LGBTQ community. While the concepts noted above are translatable to a variety of communities, it’s important to note that the Indigenous specificity discussed in the webinar does not directly apply to non-indigenous minority communities in the so-called United States. The central concept of community trust helps to destabilize capitalist and colonial notions of hierarchy, ownership, and privatization that have been embedded in library and archival institutions in this country.

While trust building is vital for all library and archival institutions, it is especially key to a community archives that focuses on an underrepresented group. For the case of San Diego’s LGBTQ community—consisting of a variety of people from different racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds—trust building must extend to the most marginalized community members: Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, poor and low income folks, folks experiencing homelessness, immigrants, and their many intersections. Trust building for LASD could look like specific intellectual property rights attribution and use protocols made in collaboration with community members, having Spanish (and/or other relevant local languages) translations available for English materials or making materials in non-English languages more accessible, incorporating community input on metadata and finding aids for materials, among other methods. Maintaining these relationships over time and generations strengthens community trust and continuity, especially with the evolution of LGBTQ terminology over the past several decades alone.

Allowing communities of origin to dictate cultural protocols and have intellectual property rights over their materials both disrupts colonial standards and uses present copyright laws intentionally in favor of communities that these laws typically disenfranchise. I believe incorporating cultural protocols brings discourse concerning the use, legacy, and existence of copyright laws to the forefront, especially now when the concept of abolishing damaging state institutions is gaining more prominence and awareness. 

All these trust building efforts allow for more powerful and intimate interactions by community members with collections. When community members have historically been denied their history and culture through erasure, exclusion, and fabrication, engaging with cultural and historical materials generates deeper connection. Speaking from my personal experience as a Cuban-American lesbian, interacting with lesbian-related materials from the archives—and discovering a poster that focused on supporting Cuban lesbians who left imprisonment in Cuba only to be incarcerated in the US—brought me an intimate joy and strengthened my link to my community. While my experience is only one example, the Archives has the potential to truly cultivate intra-community bonds and life-saving connections. Representation—not in the lofty sense of media representation—by and for community members in the preservation of history and culture has the power to combat damaging colonial and capitalist erasure and exploitation.

Gabrielle Garcia (they/he/she) is a Project Assistant at Lambda Archives. He is a white Cuban Jewish non-binary butch lesbian with class and educational privilege and abolitionist left politics. Additionally, they are an artist and designer, aspiring archivist, and a 2019 graduate from Scripps College with a BA in Media Studies and two minors in Art and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. She is interested in the intersections of art, media, film, publishing, archives, and the LGBTQ community (especially butch lesbians). They will be applying to library and information science masters programs this winter.