LGBTQI History

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

By the time of his arrest in 1953, Rustin was profoundly committed to non-violent resistance.

Gay Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin Posthumously Pardoned in California

The openly gay Rustin was convicted during the 1950s under laws targeting LGBTQ individuals

John Addington Symonds, whose 1873 essay "A Problem in Greek Ethics" helped lay the foundation for the modern gay rights movement

Researchers Recover an Early Copy of a 19th-Century Gay Rights Essay

This once-lost copy of "A Problem in Greek Ethics" is only the sixth of its kind

Photographer Charles Marville captured this snapshot of an open-air urinal with three stalls in 1865.

How Paris' Open-Air Urinals Changed a City—and Helped Dismantle the Nazi Regime

During World War II, the stalls served as rendezvous points for French Resistance fighters

Detail of portrait of President James Buchanan by artist George Peter Alexander Healy

The 175-Year History of Speculating About President James Buchanan's Bachelorhood

Was his close friendship with William Rufus King just that, or was it evidence that he was the nation's first gay chief executive?

LGBTQ Women Who Made History

Drag queen in Atlanta, 1972

The Stonewall of the South That History Forgot

A month after the riots in New York, a raid on an Atlanta movie theater sparked a gay liberation movement of its own

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

An activist holds up a rainbow flag inside Botswana's High Court to celebrate Tuesday's landmark ruling.

In Landmark Ruling, Botswana Strikes Down Colonial-Era Law Criminalizing Homosexuality

‘A democratic society is one that embraces tolerance, diversity and open-mindedness,’ Justice Michael Leburu said of the ruling

A candlelight vigil is tinged with a sense of resistance and resilience as activists honor the second anniversary of Stonewall, 1971.

The First Pride Marches, in Photos

A look back at a major turning point in the struggle for gay rights

From left to right: Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Jane Vercaine, Barbara Deming, Kady Vandeurs, Carol Grosberg and others lead a protest at City Hall

New York City Monument Will Honor Transgender Activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera

The two women were instrumental in the 1969 Stonewall Uprising and spent their lives advocating for marginalized groups

S.T.A.R. (2012) by Tuesday Smillie. Watercolor collage on board.

New Brooklyn Museum Exhibit Explores the Cultural Memory of Stonewall

Artists born after the galvanizing moment in gay rights history, which took place 50 years ago, present their interpretations

Photograph from the 2015 LGBTQ Pride celebration. Upward of 60 000 people took to the streets of Taipei for the annual Pride march, the largest such event in Asia.

Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage—a First for Asia

Activists hope the law will inspire similar pushes for equality in other parts of the continent

Celine Dion arrives for the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

How Well Did This Year's Met Gala Exemplify ‘Camp’?

The concept of camp goes far beyond what Susan Sontag wrote in her seminal essay

At nearly 91, Dr. Ruth is still committed to the cause

Dr. Ruth Changed the Way America Talked About Sex

A new documentary chronicles the revolution Ruth Westheimer brought to the air

Suranne Jones stars as Anne Lister in "Gentleman Jack."

The 19th-Century Lesbian Landowner Who Set Out to Find a Wife

A new HBO series explores the remarkable life of Anne Lister, based on her voluminous and intimate diaries

For Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Ángeles, their dual mission of being a respected musical group and advocating for social equality for the LGBTQ community has won the hearts and minds of many.

How the First LGBTQ Mariachi Became an Outlet for Advocacy

LA musicians Carlos Samaniego and Natalia Melendez do traditional Mexican music their way

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