Womack & Washington DC's Gay Community

Dr. Womack honored

Womack was a well-known figure about gay DC in the 60s and 70s. With his friend J.J. Proferes, he organized the annual Groovy Guy contests in local bars. In September 1971 he himself was honored.

 

Male mail: homosexual tidbits.  Homosexuals and the laws in Washington

Cover of: Male Mail: homosexual tidbits.  Homosexuals and the laws in Washington / by Frank Kameny

Womack became a friend to leading gay activist Dr. Franklin E. Kameny in the 1960s and supported the Mattachine Society of Washington (MSW). The printing plant on 8th St SE printed many of MSW's publications. During Dr. Kameny's ground-breaking 1971 campaign for the District of Columbia's new seat in Congress, Womack was a major financial contributor (donating $2,000 to the campaign, according to Kameny's campaign manager Paul Kuntzler). The Guild Press printed most of the Kameny campaign's flyers and other materials.

The following year, when Kameny and lesbian activist Barbara Gittings prepared for the annual American Psychiatric Association's conference in Dallas, Womack's firm contributed publication of a brochure for the event. Dr Kameny recalls

"... Barbara Gittings got an architect to make us a very very nice booth out of white Styrofoam so that it would be easy to ship down to Dallas, and a big sign saying Gay, Proud, and Healthy. And I wrote a leaflet [Gay, Proud and Healthy] to go with it, which Lynn Womack, a local gay printer printed up for me in large numbers of copies." (Private email message)

Kameny wrote a regular column for Womack's newsletters and wrote as well for Gay Forum. In the newsletters, Kameny's column Male Call answered questions about legal rights and local laws affecting homosexuals. In support of Womack during the 1971 trial, Kameny prepared a lengthy affidavit dealing with the alleged crimes and testifying to Womack's role in the community.