LGBT Oral History 062: David Leas

Number of Pages: 
June 1, 2017

David Leas was born in 1955 in Columbia, Pennsylvania. He comes from a working class family and described the sense of independence he got from his first job as busboy for the Accomac Inn. This job lead to a foray into the restaurant business, starting with opening the Railroad House in Marietta with his partner Marlon. David then went on to be an evening manager at Isaac’s and then transitioned into a higher up management job within the restaurant. Due to his pull at Isaac’s, he was able to convince the restaurant and other local restaurants to raise funds and collaborate with the Lancaster AIDS Project and SCAAN. David was also one of the original members of Gays United Lancaster and The Rural Gay Caucus, an organization formed in reaction to the urban focus of the Council of Sexual Minorities, formed by Governor Shapp. He also was one of the main driving forces behind the newsletter, Gay Era, often spearheading the publication of it. He remarks on how many of his friends, such as Bari Weaver, had to move due to the extreme harassment they faced for being openly gay. He then touches on the evolution of gay bars in the area and how he met his partner, Ben, who he has been living with in Elizabethtown for around twenty years.

Time Period: 
Gift of David Leas
LGBT Oral History - Leas, David - 062
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections