LGBT History Project: LGBT-048 Nancy Helm Collection

FAB Award
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Nancy Helm was born in Lancaster, PA and graduated from Manheim Township High School in 1981. After graduating, she worked for a printing company and had other odd jobs before opening a hair salon with her partner. In 1991, she decided to open a bookstore cattycorner from the salon on Prince Street: The Closet. Helm started the bookstore as an outlet for the gay community of Lancaster so they could meet, hang out, and shop. The bookstore became the target of anti-gay crime that same year, including bombings and multiple threats, and because of that closed in 1992.

Helm was also a member of the Pink Triangle Coalition (PTC). Created in 1991 the coalition was instrumental in getting sexual orientation non-discrimination protection added to the Human Relations Ordnance in the City of Lancaster. Helm was the key spokesperson for the group. Helm still resides in Central Pa today.

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Gift of Nancy Helm
LGBT-048 Nancy Helm Collection
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections