Among the many efforts to highlight National Coming Out Day, HRC was excited to participate in the launch of the “LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History,” a new National Park Service (NPS) study identifying places and events associated with the history of LGBTQ-identified Americans.
Prepared as part of the NPS Heritage Initiative, and in conjunction with the NPS’ centennial celebration, the detailed, peer-reviewed report chronicles historical places, documents, people and events that have shaped the American LGBTQ civil rights movement. Understanding the role LGBTQ people have played and their contributions to the history of this vast country connects each of us to our community to a heritage we can identify with, and own. Among the many individuals noted or sites of historical significance are:
- African American ragtime/jazz artist Antonio “Tony” Jackson, and blues artists Gladys Bentley and Gertrude “Ma” Rainey;
- Modernist poet, Marianne Moore, and her home John V. Gridley House, New York City;
- German Village Historic District in Hamilton [Columbus], Ohio
- Albert Cashier, a transgender Civil War Infantryman, from Saunemin, Illinois
The legacy of those who have paved the way for our generation must be preserved for those who will follow and the LGBTQ theme study will help to accomplish that goal.
HRC worked closely with the NPS to designate the park at Stonewall as the first national monument to LGBTQ rights and we look forward to having additional sites honoring the history of our movement and community incorporated into the national park system in the near future.