OutHistory.org Update

I am thrilled to report that OutHistory. org’s “Since Stonewall Local Histories Contest” was a success! Last June, OutHistory.org announced the contest, which invited people from across the country to create online exhibits about the history of LGBTQ life in their local town, village, city, county or state since the 1969 Stonewall riots. In total, OutHistory.org received over thirty exciting contest entries.

The “Since Stonewall” exhibits are all geographically-based, but range dramatically in subject, from one New Yorker’s memoirs, to a history of the Gay Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., an account of a long-lived gay bar in Michigan called The Flame, and a timeline of The Lesbian Mothers National Defense Fund in Seattle. One of the contest’s major goals was to draw attention to LGBTQ history in places that scholars have overlooked, so we were particularly pleased to see exhibits about states such as Minnesota, Indiana, Georgia, Nebraska , Oregon, Virginia and Idaho among others. Professors John D’Emilio and Leisa Meyer selected the top five exhibits which were announced June 28th. First place went to “Man-i-fest: FTM Mentorship in San Francisco,” second place to “Rainbow Richmond,” third place to “Gay Liberation in New York City,” fourth place to “Las Vegas, Nevada,” and fifth place to “The History of the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club.” Creators of these exhibits received prizes from $1,000 to $5,000. The contest winners will all be invited to discuss their exhibits at a panel at the Graduate Center sometime this fall. We hope to see you there! Recent additions to OutHistory.org include a series of photographs taken by Jonas Kulikauskas at the 1994 Gay Pride Parade in New York City, transcripts from historian Marc Stein’s oral history interviews with some of Philadelphia’s leading gay activists, Professor Nancy Unger’s reflections on teaching gay and lesbian history to undergraduate students, and an exhibit on the Advocate’s “Groovy Guy” contest, which was held in Los Angeles in the late 1960s and 1970s. Additionally, during a course OutHistory. org led at Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), members created three new exhibits on OutHistory.org about their personal histories and art. In other news, OutHistory.org held a fabulous fundraiser at a Soho loft this past June. OutHistory.org co-directors Jonathan Katz, Daniel Hurewitz and Karen Miller presented stills from the planned re-design of the site, which will be undertaken by students at Parsons. The event drew a great crowd and succeeded in raising several thousand dollars for OutHistory.org. However, OutHistory.org’s funding from the Arcus Foundation runs out December 2010, so we definitely need your support to keep this project alive! Please visit OutHistory. org today to learn how to make a contribution.

Finally, I would like to note how quickly OutHistory.org’s reputation as a leading LGBTQ public history website is growing. Essays on OutHistory.org will be featured in a forthcoming book, Serving LGBTIQ Library and Archives Users, and in the November issue of The Public Historian. OutHistory.org is also honored to have been awarded the inaugural Allan Bérubé Prize by the American Historical Association’s Committee on LGBT History. The prize recognizes outstanding work in public or community-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/ or queer history. In their announcement, the judges stated, “With impressive accomplishments during its short life and even greater potential for growth in the future, OutHistory is a deserving recipient of the inaugural Bérubé Prize.”