Patrick L. Cox, left, president of the TSHA board of Texas, presents the 2022 Randall B. “Mike” Campbell first place award to Todd Camp, recognizing Camp’s entry on the LGBTQ community of Fort Worth in the Handbook of Texas.

Handbook of Texas entry on FW’s LGBTQ community earns Mike Campbell Award

From Staff Reports

The Texas State Historical Association recently awarded its 2022 Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell Award recognizing his entry in the Handbook of Texas on the LGBTQ community of Fort Worth. Camp won first place, and Nancy Baker Jones won second place for her entry, “Women’s Pavillion.”

The Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell Award is given annually to the authors of the two best new entries published in the Handbook of Texas in the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Mike Campbell, who, for more than five decades, led a distinguished career at the University of North Texas and devoted his time and energy to the TSHA. He was the author of several seminal works in Texas history and became both regents professor in 1988 and the Lone Star Chair on Texas History at UNT in 2013. He earned the UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award and received numerous teaching awards over the course of his career. Campbell served as TSHA president from 1993 to 1994, was the association’s first chief historian from 2008 to 2017 and was editor-in-chief of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly from July 2005 to April 2017.

Camp said he was “deeply honored” to receive the award during the recent annual TSHA meeting in Austin, describing the Handbook of Texas as “an authoritative encyclopedia of our state’s history.”

He continued, “I was in excellent company [at the meeting], alongside accomplished scholars and historians, and the many kudos and words of encouragement I’ve received have ignited a new fire beneath me to start fleshing this material out into a book while exploring other mediums with which to make it accessible.

“I am, of course, standing on the shoulders of giants as I continue to gather, share and preserve this information with future generations,” Camp said. “I was enormously proud to have been a part of this project in the first place, but, as a recovering journalist turned amateur historian, the fact that my efforts were recognized by such a prestigious organization was somewhat staggering. I guess I have more work to do.

“Thanks to all of my friends, colleagues and members of the Fort Worth LGBTQA+ community who were and continue to be invaluable in helping me assemble this information.”

Camp, who has spent several years collecting information on and artifacts from Fort Worth’s LGBTQ community through the years, has earned his own place in that history through his activism and involvement. In 2009, when agents with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and officers with the Fort Worth Police Department raided the newly-opened gay bar The Rainbow Lounge on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Camp — who was celebrating his birthday at the bar when the raid happened — stepped forward to help make sure the event made headlines around the world. He helped organize the first protests the day after the raid, and he played a role in organizing the Fort Worth community to bring change to the Fort Worth PD and to get the city to pass ordinances protecting the LGBTQ community.