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herstory ~ history
Resources I am personally connected with and also local/Washington state ones are listed first, 
then national, international and internet-only ones.

Encircled By My Heritage - by Gabi Clayton. This started as a paper I wrote for a film class in 1988 when I was a senior at The Evergreen State College. We had just moved from Mississippi to Olympia. The paper/essay is full of quotes from other people, and there is a bibliography.  I have added to it over time as I learned new things or found photos that would be good to include. Anything about my father's side of the family may be inaccurate. He died when I was 12 and I was out of touch with his side of the family until a few years after this was written, so the family history comes mostly from my mother's memory with a little added later. For those of you who are curious, it may tell you something about me. I decided to publish it here as my personal response to a Human Rights Campaign's Family Holiday Action Alert, which said: "Telling the truth about who we are -- even to just one more friend or relative -- can start to break down walls of silence and isolation that may have taken years to build up."

The Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project (NWGLHMP, or The History Project) - researches, interprets and communicates the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Pacific Northwest for the purposes of study, education and enjoyment. The History Project seeks to: collect oral histories; locate photographs, ephemera, objects and documents; and work with archives to insure the preservation of these materials; and create public programs such as exhibits, publications and presentations to communicate the collective experience we have uncovered. 

The Pacific Northwest Lesbian Archives (PNLA) - a grassroots lesbian archives organization which collects materials documenting lesbian life in the Pacific Northwest – mostly Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and southwestern British Columbia. The PNLA gathers, preserves and shares primary source materials of lesbians to enhance public and scholarly understanding of our diverse, regional herstory - bringing herstory out of obscurity to promote learning, visibility and community strength. It is a community in which lesbians are embraced, honored and respected for their past, present and future contributions and accomplishments. 

Queer History in Seattle - Part 1: to 1967 and Part 2: After Stonewall - from, an evolving online encyclopedia of state and local history in Washington state.

The Queering the Museum (QTM) Project - Seattle, WA - an ongoing coordinated intervention into representations of LGBT/Q* people in museums. "Our goal is for QTM to facilitate critical dialogues between community members and museum practitioners, addressing the role that museums play in forming social norms around gender and sexuality.  We conceptualize QTM as an evolving project that works in collaboration with community members and organizations, facilitating and connecting projects that further these goals. We focus on museums due to their ability to shape and define the communities in which we live. QTM believes that museums have a responsibility to account for the role played in constructing normalized ideas of race, gender and sexuality. We seek to educate and facilitate reflections about this role, connecting museum professionals and community members through a variety of activities. QTM’s supported projects focus on the museum as a venue for exploring these questions and ideas at the institutional, community and individual levels."

Washington State History Museum / Washington State Historical Society - Tacoma, WA -

An Activist’s Guide to Lesbian History - written and compiled by Polly Thistlethwaite as a companion  to the 1994 video Not Just Passing Through by Jean Carlomusto, Dolores Perez, Catherine Gund, and Polly Thistlethwaite.  (pdf file)

African American Lesbian And Gay History: An Exploration - by Barbara Smith

American Pictures: An outsider looking in. A Danish vagabond's personal journey through the American underclass. Arriving in America with only $40 for a short visit, a young Dane, Jacob Holdt ended up staying over five years, hitchhiking more than 100,000 miles throughout the USA. He sold blood plasma twice weekly to be able to buy film. He lived in more than 400 homes - from the poorest migrant workers to America's wealthiest families such as the Rockefellers. They not only gave him a hospitality and warmth, but their continuing friendship to this day. A documentary with 3,000 pictures, music, interviews and narration presented on two screens; a campus event presented more than 1150 times in 300 colleges. American Pictures is also an amazing book with photos, stories and more, out of print now but now online: 

BROTHER OUTSIDER: The Life of Bayard Rustin - This website was created by the makers of "BROTHER OUTSIDER" a wonderful hour-long documentary portrait that was broadcast as part of P.O.V. on PBS on January 20, 2003. "...Bayard Rustin is best remembered as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests ever held in the United States. ... Despite these achievements, Rustin was silenced, threatened, arrested, beaten, imprisoned and fired from important leadership positions, largely because he was an openly gay man in a fiercely homophobic era."  In the film: "Rustin’s and other first-person voices contrast with excerpts from Rustin’s FBI files, which present J. Edgar Hoover’s view of Rustin as a "suspected communist and known homosexual subversive." BROTHER OUTSIDER creates an aesthetic that reflects Rustin’s position as an outsider, a troublemaker and an eloquent speaker who refused to be silenced."

Famous or Distinguished Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals: A List of Names - 

Famous GLB People in History - Gay & Lesbian People in History - "The terms hetero- and homosexual were only made up in the last hundred years or so, but the phenomenon of people falling in love with members of their own gender is as old as humanity. The heroes of lived a long time ago, and "proof" of their sexuality is sometimes hard to come by ... but in these cases the evidence is pretty convincing. Here at we'll give you enough information for you to be able to judge for yourself."

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Historical Society (GLBTHS) collects, preserves, and interprets the history of GLBT people and the communities that support them. Sponsor exhibits and programs on an on-going basis. The professionally-staffed archives and reading room of the GLBTHS is one of the world's largest collections of primary source materials about GLBT history. Filmmakers, academics, journalists, students, and others use the archives to craft truthful and inspiring representations of GLBT people.

In 2002, the International Museum of Gay and Lesbian History merged with the GLBT Historical Society, which adopted the goal of building the world’s first full-scale, professional-quality museum dedicated to GLBT history and culture. It will take years to accomplish this vision. In the meantime, please visit the current exhibits in our own reading room gallery, as well as at the Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center of the San Francisco Public Library, and at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center.

GLBT History Month - In the 1990's, teachers and community organizations determined that a month should be designated for GLBT history. They chose October because public schools are in session and traditions, such as National Coming Out Day, occur then. GLBT History Month is endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association, and other national organizations. In 2006, Equality Forum assumed responsibility for GLBT History Month.

Harvey Milk Day Curricula - May 22 is officially Harvey Milk Day, a day of special recognition in California, coinciding with Milk's birthday. Under the measure enacted and signed into law in California on October 2009, schools are encouraged to hold lessons, "remembering the life of Harvey Milk, recognizing his accomplishments and familiarizing pupils with the contributions he made to this state." Public schools and educational institutions are encouraged "to conduct suitable and commemorative exercises that would foster respect for all, and educate students about Harvey Milk." This section of pages on the Safe Schools Coalition website, sponsored by California Safe Schools Coalition, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, and Our Family Coalition, includes a Harvey Milk Day biography, curriculua and resources. 

Hineini: Here I Am - celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transhender Jews who have transformed the world through thier words and lives. Harvey Milk, Kate Bornstein, and Lesléa Newman are the first three subjects in this poster series of Jewish LGBT changemakers. "Each has shown the courage, vision, and conviction to overcome homophobia and transphobia and make a lasting impact on the world." The poster series created as a Jewish LGBT visiblity project by Keshet (below)- working for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews in Jewish life - includes a link to the posters along with a timelines and bibliographies, and a fourm where you can answer the question, "Who is YOUR LGBT Jewish hero?" The 18x24 posters are posters are for sale.

International Museum of Gay and Lesbian History - "We are the only community that does not have a national museum of our own, a place where our stories are told and preserved, and it's about time we changed that. We truly have so much to be proud of, and it's very important that future generations are nurtured and made stronger through knowledge of their unique heritage and culture."

The Kameny Papers - – In an October 6, 2006 ceremony at the U.S. Library of Congress, long-time civil rights activist Franklin Edward Kameny officially presented more than 70,000 letters, documents and memorabilia to the nation. “Nearly fifty years ago, the United States Government banned me from employment in public service because I am a homosexual,” Kameny said. “This archive is not simply my story; it also shows how gay and lesbian Americans have joined the American mainstream story of expanded civil liberties in the 20th century.”

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs - born August 28, 1825, he was the first known gay activist. This website by Michael Lombardi-Nash, Ph.D. has a biography, translations from his writings, a celebration planned for his birthday, a memory book and more.

Keshet - works to ensure that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews are fully included in all parts of the Jewish community. In the Greater Boston area where it is based, Keshet offers social and cultural events for GLBT Jews ranging from Jewish text study to an annual GLBT Jewish speed-dating gala, Keshet Quick Dates. Nationally, Keshet offers support, training, and resources to create a Jewish community that welcomes and affirms GLBT Jews. In addition to Massachusets programs, nationally Keshet programs include The Hineini Education Project, which trains and supports Jewish educators, clergy, program staff, youth, and lay leaders to ensure that GLBT youth, families, and staff are safe and affirmed in all Jewish educational and community settings; film screenings and facilitated workshops of the Keshet-produced film: Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School; training and technical support for emerging Jewish GLBT groups to replicate Keshet's Jewish Safe Schools & Supportive Communities Program; and the KeshetClal Inclusion Project: a synthesized approach that offers rabbis, lay leaders, and educators concrete skills for understanding and supporting GLBT experience in the context of traditional Judaism.

The Knitting Circle Index of People - a list of famous gay, lesbian and bisexual people on the web site of South Bank University, UK. 

Also see The Knitting Circle Timetable of Lesbian and Gay History 
and The Knitting Circle Index of Topics 

The Lesbian Herstory Archives - New York, NY - exists to gather and preserve records of lesbian lives and activities by collecting and preserving materials that are relevant: books, magazines, journals, news clippings (from establishment, Feminist or Lesbian media), bibliographies, photos, historical information, tapes, films, diaries, oral histories, poetry and prose, biographies, autobiographies, notices of events, posters, graphics, and other memorabilia.

LGBT History Month: 31 days of gay - a 09/30/2008 article by 365gay Newscenter Staff, who with

Living Memory LGBT Timeline: Current Elders Would Have Been This Old When These Events Happened… - This reference tool was compiled by Loree Cook-Daniels of Transgender Aging Network. LGBT people who are now aged 50 - 100 (i.e., elders) have lived through a lot of changes in how the wider society views LGBT issues. Even those who know LGBT history well may forget just how much of it elders have personally lived through. Those who are younger and/or see how much progress the LGBT movement has made may not fully recognize how often advances have been accompanied by setbacks, and may therefore find it harder to understand the level of fear and uncertainty that may be felt by LGBT people who are old enough to remember losing rights that had previously been won. This reference tool for those working with LGBT people in the U.S. who are age 50 and older. It lists major events that happened by decade, starting in the 1920s.(2007) (pdf format)

The Mattachine Society - founded by Harry Hay, Brent Quandt and a small group of friends. The group first met in Los Angeles, on November 11, 1950. Several other related organizations were formed shortly afterward in San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Denver, the District of Columbia, and Philadelphia. The primary goal of the society was to engender public acceptance of homosexuality -- they wrote in their manifesto that homosexuals' "physiological and psychological handicaps need be no deterrent in integrating 10 percent of the world's population towards the constructive social progress of mankind."

ONE Institute / International Gay and Lesbian Archives (ONE/IGLA) - Dedicated to research, advocacy, and education relating to the diverse experience and heritage of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered [LGBT] people and fosters the creation, publication, and dissemination of new scholarly, literary, and artistic work by or about LGBT people. ONE/IGLA houses the world's largest research library on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered heritage and concerns.

OtherWise Elders and Saints - Chris Paige has gathered historic and mythic figures - sacred trans folks, drawing on a variety of spiritual traditions.

OutHistory - documenting the LGBTQH past in the U.S.A. - A freely accessible educational website in development about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, yes, heterosexual history. The site incorporates elements of an encyclopedia, an archive, and a museum, but it's primary identity is as a history site. At its best, It assists users to think historically about LGBTQH life. What thinking historically means will become clearer as the site develops. The site's creators focus on the various, creative ways they can help all of us to understand the sexual and intimate relationships of human beings over time, within changing social and historical structures.

People with a History - presents the history of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people, and addresses LGBT history in all periods, and in all regions of the world. This excellent site is part of the Internet History Sourcebooks, edited by Paul Halsall.

Rainbow Lives - This excellent site by Ryan Schultz documents over 3,300 queer* lives (*bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgendered, and two-spirited people; plus gender rebels, gender outlaws, women passing as men, men passing as women, women-loving women, men-loving men, "It Was Just a Phase", and "Boy, Was I Drunk!") around the world (with an emphasis on Canadians, especially people from Manitoba) and throughout history from 2400 B.C. to the present.

September 11, 2001: Gay Victims & Heroes - In Memoriam - short biographies of the openly Gay people who died and related news. This site is by Michael Lombardi-Nash, Ph.D. who also created the Karl Heinrich Ulrichs website listed above.

The Stonewall Riots of 1969 - history and reminiscences by people who were at The Stonewall Inn in 1969, by SAIL - Stonewall Action Identity League.

Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution - by David Carter. ". . . a permanent addition to the great histories of the civil rights era." — Publishers Weekly. "Highly readable and emotionally charged . . . takes the reader on a breathtaking ride . . . . a terrific piece of nonfiction . . . satisfying, illuminating" — The Advocate.

Time Machine - Lavender Lives, The Story Of The Rainbow Flag, Stonewall Riots, Today in Gay History, and more from gay Canada's national online daily newspaper

Tracking Transgender. The Historical Truth - by Cristan Williams. Why and when did transsexual people begin calling themselves transgender?  

Tribute & Memorial to Our Brothers, Sisters & Friends Lost September 11, 2001 - "It is our wish, it will serve to honor them, for who  they were, in Memoriam, So They Will Not Be The Forgotten Victims. Our Hearts, Thoughts and Prayers Are With Them, Their Life Partners, Families, Loved Ones and With All Whose Lives Were Taken in this National Tragedy"

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America's national institution for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history, and serves as this country's memorial to the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust. We saw the permanent collection in 2000 and it was astounding. They do special exhibitions and information online such as Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945 (open through March 16, 2003) and much more.

The Zinn Education Project is coordinated by two non-profit organizations, Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change. The project promotes and supports the use of Howard Zinn’s best-selling book A People’s History of the United States and other materials for teaching a people’s history in middle and high school classrooms across the country. The website offers more than 85 free, downloadable lessons and articles organized by theme, time period, and reading level.


© 2003-2012 Gabi Clayton


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