Stein out, Stonewall in at LGBTQ political club

Gertrude Stein at “Les Charwelles,” June 12, 1934. (Photo by Carl Van Vechten via Wikimedia Commons)

Members of a Washington LGBTQ political group voted to change its name from the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club to the Capital Stonewall Democrats. The vote took place at a membership meeting over Zoom on Feb. 8, according to Washington Blade

The group was named after Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), a Jewish American writer who wrote several novels on her experience as an out lesbian. The Blade reported some club members wanted Stein’s name removed due to allegations that she was a Nazi sympathizer during World War II.

The club was established in 1976 and acts as the “voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Democrats in the District of Columbia,” according to the club’s website.

Club co-founder Paul Kuntzler, 79, told the Blade he opposes the name change and disputes the claims. 

Former Stein Club president Earl Fowlkes told the Blade the name change was largely due to people not knowing who Stein was. 

“A lot of people, especially the younger ones and the new members to D.C. felt that the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club did not really let them know it was LGBTQ,” Fowlkes said.

“So, having a Democratic Club named after Gertrude Stein doesn’t make any sense on a number of levels.”

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