The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston

The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston The History Project is an independent not-for-profit organization that documents, preserves, and shares the history of Boston's LGBTQ communities.
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The History Project is an all-volunteer group of activists, archivists, historians, writers, and community members dedicated to preserving the history of Boston's and Massachusetts' LGBTQ communities and sharing that information with the public.

Mission: To document and preserve the history of Boston's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities and to share that information with LGBTQ individuals, organizations, allies, and the public.

Operating as usual

The board and staff of The History Project unequivocally condemn the violent attack on the United States Capitol as an a...
01/08/2021
We condemn the violent attack on the United States Capitol | The History Project

The board and staff of The History Project unequivocally condemn the violent attack on the United States Capitol as an attempt to overthrow our democratic election process.

Some say that history will judge this period; we should not wait for history to judge the actions of the white supremacist terrorist mob, the double standard in police response versus peaceful protests by BIPOC citizens, the long history of harassment and surveillance of LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations by law enforcement agencies, and the widespread promotion of lies at the highest levels of our government.

As a community archives dedicated to ensuring that our lives and stories are part of the historical narrative, we know that history isn’t some mysterious, abstract force. We as a community create and interpret history; we can and do judge the actions of an insurrectionist mob, seditionist politicians, and white supremacists as abhorrent, horrifying, and unacceptable.

Democracy must prevail; together, we will continue the work of justice, equity, and equality. The History Project joins the growing bipartisan call for the immediate resignation, impeachment, or removal of the president by the Constitution’s 25th Amendment. We must ensure that the ideals of our democracy, including the peaceful transition of power, are carried out.

http://historyproject.org/news/2021-01/we-condemn-violent-attack-united-states-capitol

The board and staff of The History Project unequivocally condemn the violent attack on the United States Capitol as an attempt to overthrow our democratic election process.

Matt Baume serves up some gay history by way of the 70s sitcom "Phyllis."
12/30/2020
The Most Exciting Time in History to Come out of the Closet?

Matt Baume serves up some gay history by way of the 70s sitcom "Phyllis."

Gay San Francisco in the 1970s: A disco-fueled cauldron of sex, art, power, riots, and liberation. There was the grassroots rise of Harvey Milk; the seductiv...

Our top nine and a message from our Executive Director Joan Ilacqua: “2020 looked a lot different than anticipated, but ...
12/28/2020

Our top nine and a message from our Executive Director Joan Ilacqua: “2020 looked a lot different than anticipated, but with your support, we pivoted to online programs and projects, we collaborated with queer people and organizations across the country, and despite everything, we came together to celebrate and support our community.

None of this could have happened without you. You showed up, you donated, you protested, you documented your history, and you shared your stories and your hopes for the future.

The History Project had a very active and innovative year, and you helped us meet our mission to document, preserve, and share LGBTQ history. We don't know what 2021 will bring, but I say bring it on, 2021.

Thank you for your support and generosity. If you'd like to help us do it again in 2021, please donate to our year-end campaign: https://www.mygiving.net/donate/LGBTQcheer

Check out our programs (https://www.youtube.com/user/HistoryProjectBoston ) and projects (http://historyproject.org/index.php/projects)! Thank you and Happy New Year!

#thehistoryproject #queerhistory #lgbtqhistory #bostongay #topnine #bringiton2021 #bye2020

"Zachary Quinto is set to produce and star in Secret Court, a scripted podcast based on the Harvard gay purge of 1920, w...
12/22/2020
Zachary Quinto to Produce and Star in Podcast About Harvard Gay Purge of 1920 - Towleroad Gay News

"Zachary Quinto is set to produce and star in Secret Court, a scripted podcast based on the Harvard gay purge of 1920, which took place after the suicide of sophomore Cyril Wilcox."

Zachary Quinto is set to produce and star in Secret Court, a scripted podcast based on the Harvard gay purge of 1920, which took place after the suicide of sophomore Cyril Wilcox. Deadline explains: “Wilcox was part of a small group of gay male students, and his suicide led Harvard to instigate an...

Despite the challenges of 2020, with Joan Ilacqua at the helm as our inaugural Executive Director, we've gone on to have...
12/21/2020

Despite the challenges of 2020, with Joan Ilacqua at the helm as our inaugural Executive Director, we've gone on to have an incredibly strong, active, and innovative year. Bring it on, 2021! As our history shows, we're here, we're queer, and we aren't going anywhere. Help us close out our 40th anniversary year with queer cheer by joining our year-end campaign. https://www.mygiving.net/donate/LGBTQcheer

The obituaries gathered in Robert John Quinn’s Memorial Books, as the collection is known, represent a miniscule fractio...
12/01/2020
Robert John Quinn's Memorial Books · Documented | Digital Collections of The History Project

The obituaries gathered in Robert John Quinn’s Memorial Books, as the collection is known, represent a miniscule fraction of the roughly 19 million worldwide deaths from HIV and AIDS between 1981 and the dawn of 2000. But flipping through just a few pages, one immediately senses the epidemic’s horrifying scale and the ferocity with which it felled gay men in the prime of their lives.

Many of the obituaries detail the lives of LGBTQ people, AIDS activists, or allies killed by hate crimes, accidents, or illnesses of indeterminate origin. But most are memorials to men who died of AIDS: famous ones like rock legend Freddie Mercury, local heroes like AIDS activist and educator Sidney Borum, Jr., and regular guys like Harvey Lucas, a 31-year- old military veteran and bookbinder from Washington, D.C.

Quinn, a Bostonian, donated his collection to The History Project in 2000, when he stopped clipping obituaries. He titled the collection the Robert John Quinn AIDS Memorial Books. However, the name was changed during the digitization, when the extent to which it contained obituaries for people who died of causes other than HIV/AIDS, or whose deaths weren’t explicitly attributed HIV/ AIDS, became more apparent.

Explore the digital collection: https://historyproject.omeka.net/collections/show/45

Will you join our year-end campaign to ensure we can document, preserve, and share LGBTQ history? Even 2020 can't erase ...
12/01/2020

Will you join our year-end campaign to ensure we can document, preserve, and share LGBTQ history?

Even 2020 can't erase LGBTQ history. This year, with your help, we've saved documents, books, photographs, and ephemera that tell our story, from the bars and nightclubs of Boston to the queer bookstores and dunes of Provincetown.

You can donate via Facebook or at: https://www.mygiving.net/donate/LGBTQcheer

Looking for an #LGBThist gift this holiday season? We updated our store with new punny designs (available in gay, queer,...
11/27/2020

Looking for an #LGBThist gift this holiday season? We updated our store with new punny designs (available in gay, queer, Bi+, trans & lesbian) for the #queerhistory lover! All proceeds support our mission to document, preserve, and share LGBTQ history! https://www.bonfire.com/store/the-history-project/

This looks like fun!Mapping the Gay Guides is a digital history project that uses mapping technology to transform these ...
11/20/2020
Home

This looks like fun!
Mapping the Gay Guides is a digital history project that uses mapping technology to transform these guidebooks into an interactive experience where users can explore historical queer geography. The site includes over 34,000 locations from all 50 states between 1965 and 1980. Check out the project at: www.mappingthegayguides.org

Webinar registration: Monday, Nov 23rd, 7pm:
https://smu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hR-y32ueRJGrHRAs41-ozw

Mapping the Gay Guides (MGG), is a collaborative mapping project by Dr. Amanda Regan and Dr. Eric Gonzaba that draws on the Damron Guides, an early but longstanding travel guide aimed at gay men since the early 1960s.

Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman, was killed in her Allston apartment in November 1998, and the case remains unsol...
11/16/2020

Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman, was killed in her Allston apartment in November 1998, and the case remains unsolved. Rita Hester's death spurred the international Transgender Day of Remembrance movement.

This Thursday, join journalists Cristela Guerra (WBUR) and Kate Sosin (The 19th) for " Telling Rita's Story: Researching Transgender Day of Remembrance," a conversation about their recent research and reporting on the life, murder, and legacy of Rita Hester.

This event is free and open to the public, please RSVP on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/telling-ritas-story-researching-transgender-day-of-remembrance-tickets-129337123819

"Joan Drury, who died at age 75 on November 9 in Grand Marais, Minnesota, was a mover and shaker in the movement to get ...
11/13/2020
Remembering Writer and Publisher Joan Drury -- Lambda Literary

"Joan Drury, who died at age 75 on November 9 in Grand Marais, Minnesota, was a mover and shaker in the movement to get the work of feminist and lesbian writers into the hands, minds, and lives of those who desperately wanted to read them."

Joan Drury was a mover and shaker in the movement to get the work of lesbian writers into the hands and lives of those who desperately wanted to read them.

Thank you for making the 2020 HistoryMaker Awards a success! In addition to celebrating our honorees, this year with you...
11/11/2020
Thank You for Making the 2020 HistoryMaker Awards a Success! | The History Project

Thank you for making the 2020 HistoryMaker Awards a success! In addition to celebrating our honorees, this year with your support we have raised over $20,000 to sustain The History Project's mission to document, preserve, and share LGBTQ history. Our goal is to raise $25,000, and we've made it more than 80% percent of the way there (in a pandemic, during election season!).
To watch the events and learn more about how you can help us reach our goal, visit our website: http://historyproject.org/news/2020-11/thank-you-making-2020-historymaker-awards-success

In addition to celebrating our honorees, this year with your support we have raised over $20,000 to sustain The History Project's mission to document, preserve, and share LGBTQ history.

We are sorry to hear about the passing of Lois H. Johnson. Lois was an enormous figure in Boston's lesbian community and...
11/11/2020
Lois H. Johnson Obituary - Visitation & Funeral Information

We are sorry to hear about the passing of Lois H. Johnson. Lois was an enormous figure in Boston's lesbian community and a longtime president of the Boston Chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis. Recently she was working on a project related to the history of the Daughters of Bilitis. May she rest in power.

https://www.keefefuneralhome.com/memorials/lois-h-johnson/4378218/obituary.php

Share Memories of Lois H. & Support the Johnson Family

Join The History Project and Historic New England this Thursday for  "Looking for the First Gay American Novel:  A Forgo...
11/11/2020

Join The History Project and Historic New England this Thursday for "Looking for the First Gay American Novel: A Forgotten Book by Sarah Orne Jewett," a lecture by Professor Don James McLaughlin of the University of Tulsa.

Thursday, November 12th, 5:00PM
RSVP with Historic New England . The link for the webinar will be sent in a separate email prior to the event.
Please call 617-994-6679 for more information.

The popularity of James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room (1956), Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City (1978-2014), and Hanya Yanagihara's recent hit A Little Life (2015) indicates the profound connection people feel with LGBTQ+ fiction. But who authored the first gay American novel? Scholars have proposed origins for the tradition in Margaret Sweat's Ethel's Love-Life (1859) and Bayard Taylor's Joseph and His Friend: A Tale of Pennsylvania (1870).

However, Professor Don James McLaughlin of the University of Tulsa makes the case in this virtual talk that A Marsh Island (1885), a little-known novel serialized in The Atlantic by Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909), is significant for being the first novel to explore major, now-familiar facets of a burgeoning modern gay American consciousness.

A short message from our Executive Director Joan Ilacqua:"It has been an exhausting and long year, especially for LGBTQ ...
11/04/2020
Be Kind to Yourself Today | The History Project

A short message from our Executive Director Joan Ilacqua:

"It has been an exhausting and long year, especially for LGBTQ people of color and the trans community, but our community has endured and will continue to endure. LGBTQ people have always been part of our country and our history, and regardless of the outcome of the election, we will not put ourselves or our history back in the closet.

We will not know the outcome of the election until every vote is counted. Every eligible vote must be counted. In the meantime, we can celebrate the historic election of LGBTQ people, including: Sarah McBride, the first transgender state senator in American history; Mauree Turner, one of the first non-binary state lawmakers in America and the first Muslim to serve in Oklahoma's state legislature; David Ortiz, the first openly bisexual person elected to the Colorado General Assembly; Stephanie Byers, the first trans Native American state legislator in the Kansas House of Representatives; and Taylor Small, Vermont's first transgender state legislator.""

http://historyproject.org/news/2020-11/be-kind-yourself-today

It has been an exhausting and long year, especially for LGBTQ people of color and the trans community, but our community has endured and will continue to endure. LGBTQ people have always been part

Join us Thursday evening for a conversation with Michael Cox, 2020 Lavender Rhino honoree! Michael Cox is an advocate fo...
10/26/2020

Join us Thursday evening for a conversation with Michael Cox, 2020 Lavender Rhino honoree! Michael Cox is an advocate for prison abolition and LGBT prisoners in Massachusetts. He is the administrator for the Massachusetts Bail Fund, where he and his colleagues secure the release of over a hundred people each month. As Director of Policy for Black & Pink, Boston, he cultivates state and federal legislation that reduces incarceration and improves conditions of confinement.

RSVP at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-historymaker-awards-tickets-118029133315

"In the early thirties, for a certain clique of Left Bank–dwelling American lesbians, the place to be was not an expat h...
10/25/2020
The Lesbian Partnership That Changed Literature

"In the early thirties, for a certain clique of Left Bank–dwelling American lesbians, the place to be was not an expat haunt like the Café de Flore or Le Deux Magots... According to the writer Solita Solano, the “only important thing in Paris” was a study group on the philosophies of the Greek-Armenian mystic George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, held at Jane Heap’s apartment."

Coeditors of ‘The Little Review,’ the two women were as passionate about art as they were about each other.

10/22/2020

Join us tonight for our conversation with 2020 HistoryMaker honoree Dr. Thea James. Dr. James will be in conversation with our Executive Director, Joan Ilacqua, about her career and experiences as a leader in Public Health, equity, and community.

The HistoryMaker Awards represents The History Project’s largest fundraising initiative of the year and we are 70% of the way toward our $25,000 fundraising goal! Please help us cross the finish line!

Did you catch the Hanky Code citation in Trixie Mattel‘s most recent video? We loved the bibliographic shout out! If you...
10/14/2020

Did you catch the Hanky Code citation in Trixie Mattel‘s most recent video? We loved the bibliographic shout out! If you'd like to learn more about the hanky code, historian Raul Cornier did a presentation for us earlier this year. Check it out: https://youtu.be/bZDZHvmFlMk

#historyproject #queerhistory #hankycode #lgbtqhistorymonth #lgbtqhistory #trixiemattel

This Thursday at 7pm, The History Project presents Dr. Ken Mayer and Kevin Cranston in conversation about Ken's historic...
10/13/2020

This Thursday at 7pm, The History Project presents Dr. Ken Mayer and Kevin Cranston in conversation about Ken's historic HIV/AIDS work. RSVP at https://2020historymaker.eventbrite.com today - tickets are free (donations accepted!). Also click through to see the rest of the incredible people and organizations The History Project is honoring each Thursday night in October.

The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston's cover photo
10/13/2020

The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston's cover photo

"An extraordinary stash of more than 400 erotic drawings by Duncan Grant that was long thought to have been destroyed ha...
10/09/2020
Lost stash of 400 erotic drawings by Duncan Grant comes to light

"An extraordinary stash of more than 400 erotic drawings by Duncan Grant that was long thought to have been destroyed has come to light, secretly passed down over decades from friend to friend and lover to lover.... 'There haven’t been many joyous moments in 2020 for anyone running a cultural organisation, or many people in the world,' Hepburn said. 'But certainly getting that email, having that phone conversation and then seeing the drawings and realising how important they were going to be … it was certainly a high point of the year.'"

Explicit works by 20th-century gay artist were secretly passed from lover to lover for decades

In honor of the 2020 HistoryMaker Awards, we collaborated with local gay bartender Brandon Taylor to develop drinks (coc...
10/06/2020

In honor of the 2020 HistoryMaker Awards, we collaborated with local gay bartender Brandon Taylor to develop drinks (cocktails and mocktails) inspired by historic lesbian and gay bars. Get your home bar ready for Thursday's talk with Nancy Nangeroni and for all our upcoming HistoryMaker Awards events!
(Download the full menu at: http://historyproject.org/sites/default/files/2020-10/HM2020_Cocktails.pdf)

The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston's cover photo
10/05/2020

The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston's cover photo

Reserve your FREE ticket for this Thursday's HistoryMaker Awards zoom event: 2020 HistoryMaker honoree Nancy Nangeroni i...
10/04/2020

Reserve your FREE ticket for this Thursday's HistoryMaker Awards zoom event: 2020 HistoryMaker honoree Nancy Nangeroni in conversation with Gordene O. MacKenzie! RSVP at https://2020historymaker.eventbrite.com today - tickets are free (donations accepted!). Also click through to see the rest of the incredible people and organizations The History Project is honoring each Thursday night in October.

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29 Stanhope St
Boston, MA
02116

Orange Line to Back Bay Station, Green Line to Copley or Arlington

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The History Project is the only organization focused exclusively on documenting, preserving, and sharing the history of Boston's LGBTQ communities.

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Comments

Every hard fought battle should be documented. Many lessons are learned from the wins and even the losses that lead to every step forward. My days immersed in the gay culture of Boston hold some of the most treasured memories of my life.
Consider joining this Youth Participatory Action Study where you can learn how to research, analyze, and build resume skills all at once! Contact Sam Hoyo at [email protected]. If you are not interested, pass this information along to someone who may be. =)
Does anyone know of - or have access to - primary and secondary resources related to suffragists in Boston marriages who were other than white? Thank you!
Wow. I can't believe I worked on the beginnings of this project in 1979, forty years ago this year and that I'm still working on LGBTQ history here in Philadelphia. I'm glad we're both going strong! (I'm on the far left in this photo from 1980).
Thank you for offering such a meaningful and informative tour to MIT students last night!
Anyone remember Brian Duffy? I am working on a project about the tragic fire at the Everard Baths in NYC in 1977. Brian Duffy was one of the victims and according to some newspaper sources, Duffy lived in NY in the early 70s, and then moved back to Boston in the mid 70s with his boyfriend. Brian worked as a waiter in a number of gay establishments in Boston. Would be so grateful for any information. Thanks!
I thought this might be of interest. If anyone is visiting the Pioneer Valley this weekend...