Gay Rights

My Comrade documented the early careers of some of today’s most famous drag queens.

The Zine That Documented Drag’s Campy Coming of Age

The queer publication shone a joyous light on an underground culture during the darkest days of the HIV/AIDS crisis

The book included reader-supplied recommendations for clubs and baths in countries such as South Africa, Yugoslavia and Panama. Two-thirds of the 1965 edition, though, were devoted to the U.S.

LGBTQ+ Pride

Where Could Gay Men Dine in the 1960s South? This Coded Guide Held the Answers

For locals and tourists alike, the "International Guild Guide" identified places of refuge in a ruthlessly homophobic society

Li Shiu Tong and Magnus Hirschfeld at the 1932 conference for the World League for Sexual Reform

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Gay Asian Activist Whose Theories on Sexuality Were Decades Ahead of Their Time

In the 1930s, Li Shiu Tong's boyfriend, Magnus Hirschfeld, was a prominent defender of gay people. But Li's own research has long been overlooked

Artist conception of the controversially named James Webb Space Telescope, which will be launched in just a few months.

NASA Won't Rename New Space Telescope Despite Anti-LGBTQ Controversy

The agency says the James Webb Space Telescope will retain its name regardless of concerns from astronomers, the public and NASA employees

Del Martin, left, and Phyllis Lyon were officially wed June 16, 2008 in the first same-sex wedding to take place in San Francisco after legalization.

The Incredible Story of Lesbian Activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon

After first meeting in 1950, the couple was instrumental in founding the nation’s first organization for gay women

Queer artist Gilbert Baker preserved this 10- by 28-foot section of an original 1978 pride flag.

LGBTQ+ Pride

Long-Lost Fragment of First Rainbow Pride Flag Resurfaces After Four Decades

The brilliantly colored banner—now on view in San Francisco—flew on "Gay Freedom Day" in 1978

Lisa Marie Thalhammer holds her original LOVE poster with her mural in the background.

Smithsonian Voices

This D.C. Muralist Finds Pride and Power in Public Art

It’s important for her to be part of the national conversation says Lisa Marie Thalhammer

This month's book picks include The Engagement, How the Word Is Passed and Drunk.

Books of the Month

The Fight to Legalize Gay Marriage, the Woman Who Couldn't Be Silenced and Other New Books to Read

These June releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

Two filmmakers launched a nationwide fundraiser to help save the surviving bars.

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Rise and Fall of America's Lesbian Bars

Only 15 nightlife spaces dedicated to queer and gay women remain in the United States

This photo, like some others in the collection, was taken in a photo booth, eliminating the need for a photographer.

Newly Published Portraits Document a Century of Gay Men's Relationships

"Loving" features around 300 photos that offer an intimate look at men's love between the 1850s and 1950s

This Andy Warhol print of Haring (left) and his lover Juan DuBose is expected to fetch around $250,000.

Keith Haring's Personal Art Collection Is Up for Auction

Sotheby's sale features works by Warhol, Basquiat, Lichtenstein and other members of the graffiti artist's circle

Users can zoom in on different sections of the quilt or search for specific panels by inputting names and keywords.

You Can Now Explore All 48,000 Panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt Online

The commemorative quilt weighs 54 tons and spans 1.2 million square feet

LGBTQ+ Pride

LGBTQ+ Pride at the Smithsonian

Read our newest stories about LGBTQ+ arts, culture and history, as well as a list of events around the Smithsonian related to Pride

"Project Pride," a virtual concert and “time capsule,” will celebrate LGBTQ history, heritage and culture through musical performances, conversations and highlights from the Smithsonian Institution’s collections.

How to Watch the Smithsonian Pride Alliance's Free Virtual Concert

Catch "Project Pride," featuring performances by Tig Notaro, Rufus Wainwright and Big Freedia, on YouTube this Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern time

Larry Kramer by Robert Giard, gelatin silver print, 1989

Playwright and AIDS Activist Larry Kramer Dies at 84

The American writer and public health advocate was "a lionhearted force," says Smithsonian curator Katherine Ott

Mapping the Gay Guides’ main function is preserving and publicizing an overlooked, under-studied chapter in LGBTQ history.

This Interactive Map Visualizes the Queer Geography of 20th-Century America

Mapping the Gay Guides visualizes local queer spaces' evolution between 1965 and 1980

The character of Ursula, a sea witch who gives Ariel her legs, is based on the drag performer Divine.

'The Little Mermaid' Was Way More Subversive Than You Realized

The 1989 Disney movie musical may have saved the Disney corporation, but it also sent important messages about identity to its young audiences

LGBTQ Women Who Made History

Rose Cleveland (left) and Evangeline Simpson Whipple (right) exchanged passionate love letters throughout the course of their nearly 30-year relationship

New Book Chronicles First Lady Rose Cleveland’s Love Affair With Evangeline Simpson Whipple

Rose and her longtime partner are buried side by side in the Italian town where they once shared a home

The slogan on this button from the 1960s is attributed to astronomer-turned-activist Frank Kameny. After being barred from federal employment because of his sexuality, Kameny organized gay rights groups and protests starting years before the Stonewall riots galvanized the movement more broadly.

LGBTQ+ Pride

A Look at the Struggles and Celebrations of LGBTQ Americans

Artifacts from the National Museum of American History highlight the broader story of gay history and activism

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