Voices of Butte: John and Helen Cummings

Helen and John Cummings Image from PFLAG-Butte

Butte-Silver Bow Public Library recently conducted the first of several interviews for the LGBTQ: Voices of Butte oral history project.

John and Helen Cummings have lived in Butte their entire lives. Married with four children, in August of 2004 one of their sons came out of the closet.

Since then, they’ve devoted countless hours advancing societal affirmation of LGBTQ people.

Seven years after their son’s disclosure, John and Helen organized–and still sustain–a Butte chapter of PFLAG, the United States’ largest organization for parents, families, friends, and allies united with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ).



The Cummings, along with many other community members, were instrumental in gaining support for the city’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance, which the Butte-Silverbow Council passed on Feb. 19, 2014. This ordinance prohibits discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

When asked what the community could do to further the efforts of equality and affirmation of LGBTQ people in Butte, the Cummings were remarkably positive about their ongoing efforts.



The entire 35-minute interview will be available in the near future through the Montana Memory Project. If interested in contributing your story to this project, please contact Marian at programming.bsbpl@gmail.com or 732-3361 x6302.