Steve Zabel Photographs
All the photographs in the collection were taken by Steve Zabel. On his death in 1989 the slides were passed to his friend Jon Graham who donated them to the Center Archive in 1991.
Scope and Content
The collection is a group of 1,187 color slides. The vast majority are of the Gay Pride March in New York City. The photos go as far back as 1981 but the majority are from 1983 to 1986.
Mr. Zabel seems at times to have stood in one spot on the parade route and photographed each group as it passed by. This is a good place to look for photographs of specific Lesbian and Gay organizations.
History or Bio
Mr. Zabel was an amateur photographer that pursued his photography with all the dedication of a professional. Starting with his teenage years, he spent most of his free time photographing New York’s transit and bus systems. He also pursued his hobby by choosing a career with the New York City Transit Authority, where he held a variety of operating titles. He was active in the New York Division Electric Railroader’s Association and also served on its board. This organizational experience had laid the groundwork for his participation in ACT-UP.
Steve’s good friend and fellow railfan, Dave Jaspan, passed away after suffering from AIDS. Dave’s death propelled Steve into AIDS activism. His growing commitment to fighting indifference to AIDS eventually consumed all of his free time. Steve participated in ACT-UP zaps and civil disobedience events when he was not documenting the same on videotape as an electronic journalist for the Gay Broadcasting System show Out in the Eighties. With his own funds he purchased high quality video equipment to better his product for GBS. His work is highlighted by coverage of protests at the Atlanta Democratic National Convention in 1988. Steve was murdered in his Murray Hill apartment in a robbery on March 1, 1989 at the age of 40.
Biography written by Jon Graham
1. New York City Gay Pride Festivities, June 28, 1981, Miscellaneous Photos, 1981 & 1982 (sheets 1-7, 117 slides).
2. New York City Gay Pride Festivities, June 1983, Miscellaneous Photos, 1983 (sheets 8-24, 365 slides).
3. New York City Gay Pride Festivities, June 1984, (sheets 25-35, 203 slides).
4. New York City Gay Pride Festivities, June 1985, (sheets 36-43, 154 slides).
5. New York City Gay Pride Festivities, June 1986, (sheets 44-61, 348 slides).