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.
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.
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Wow, two for one: Joey Arias AND Klaus Nomi!"Also included in the archives, a documentation of his legendary friendship ...
12/05/2019
Harvard Acquires Drag Icon Joey Arias’ Archive

Wow, two for one: Joey Arias AND Klaus Nomi!

"Also included in the archives, a documentation of his legendary friendship with underground icon Klaus Nomi.

""Among dozens of friends and collaborators in the 1970s and ’80s, Arias was closest with the German opera singer and performance artist Klaus Nomi. Nomi, an experimental performer who often combined vocal synthesizers with opera, was Arias’ best friend and roommate. He died in 1983 of complications from AIDS, and Arias became the executor of his estate.

Nomi’s archives, including audio recordings of the singer and his “treasured” record collection, were given to the Theatre Collection along with Arias’ own archive. Preserving and promoting Nomi’s legacy is one of the things Arias feels most passionate about when it comes to sharing his archive with Harvard."

"In this film, we have Mapplethorpe in his own words, not the rose-tinted memories that Smith gave us in Just Kids. He i...
12/02/2019
A generation of artists were wiped out by Aids and we barely talk about it

"In this film, we have Mapplethorpe in his own words, not the rose-tinted memories that Smith gave us in Just Kids. He is openly a man of sociopathic ambition who wants sex, fame and money, and would use anyone to get them. That countercultural drive echoed what was going on in the 1980s so much that it would become indistinguishable from mainstream culture. When people talk about the end of the New York scene, that’s what they mean."

A new film about the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe is a shocking and brilliant reminder of the devastation HIV and Aids wreaked – and still does

David Pais... describes the role his faith played helping him cope with his own diagnosis—and his struggle as he walke...
12/01/2019
Surviving the AIDS crisis as a gay Catholic

David Pais... describes the role his faith played helping him cope with his own diagnosis—and his struggle as he walked away from the church in anger.

“I distinctly stepped away—bolted might be a better term,” David told Mike on “Plague.”

“I can't spend all my time and energy, angry and fighting the church, when I have to use it for survival.”

In “Plague,” Michael O'Loughlin investigates untold stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church.

"Cruse moved to New York in the 1970s, where he hit his creative stride.... Using some of the underground comics’ boun...
11/27/2019
Groundbreaking Cartoonist Howard Cruse, 75, has Died

"Cruse moved to New York in the 1970s, where he hit his creative stride.... Using some of the underground comics’ boundary breaking content as an inspiration, but not as a thematic guidepost, Cruse created work that was sexually forthright, and yet filled with humanity, humor, and insight."

Cruse created work that was filled with humanity, humor, and insight #Gay #cartoonist #comics

"An archive of some 200,000 letters, photographs, biographical records and tributes associated with the quilt will be ho...
11/22/2019
AIDS Memorial Quilt Is Returning Home To San Francisco

"An archive of some 200,000 letters, photographs, biographical records and tributes associated with the quilt will be housed in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress where they will eventually be made available to researchers and the public."

Interesting that the quilt returns to San Francisco, while the letters, bios and other records will remain at the LOC...

The quilt was the brainchild of AIDS activists in the late 1980's who wanted to use names to memorialize the lives of people who had died of the disease.

'"The thing that drew me to Forster most specifically, I think, looking back on it, was I was picking up on what I would...
11/17/2019
Ghosts Haunt 'The Inheritance,' From E.M. Forster, To The Generation Lost To AIDS

'"The thing that drew me to Forster most specifically, I think, looking back on it, was I was picking up on what I would call 'the vibrations,' " says Lopez. "And 'the vibrations' were a closeted gay man in the early 20th century, at that time, speaking to a closeted gay boy at the end of the 20th century."'

The next big thing on Broadway might live up to the hype. The Inheritance takes E.M. Forster's Howards End into modern day Manhattan — the seven-hour play has been compared to Angels In America.

On October 3, 2019, The History Project celebrated the work of Denise Simmons, the 2019 HistoryMaker Award recipient, an...
11/12/2019

On October 3, 2019, The History Project celebrated the work of Denise Simmons, the 2019 HistoryMaker Award recipient, and Lavender Rhino Award recipients Rev. Mary Martha Thiel and Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow from Hebrew SeniorLife's LGBTQ Seniors Initiative.

On October 3, 2019, The History Project celebrated the work of Denise Simmons, the 2019 HistoryMaker Award recipient, and Lavender Rhino Award recipients Rev. Mary Martha Thiel and Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow from Hebrew SeniorLife's LGBTQ Seniors Initiative.

Saying goodbye to another LGBT space in Boston...
11/11/2019

Saying goodbye to another LGBT space in Boston...

GOODBYE "MACHINE" -
After nearly 25 years of laughter, tears and everything in between Machine is set to close its doors soon and make way for yet MORE condos in the Fenway. It's sad but it's a fact. And so the Gold Dust Orphans have had no choice but to move on to their brand new theater at the Lithuanian Club in South Boston. It is an absolutely TERRIFIC space and we are THRILLED to have been asked to set up shop there.
THIS post however is all about MACHINE and should serve as a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to owner Henry Vara, Managers Sean Caron and Matt Conn, bartenders Rob Botelho and Rob Donahue, Sterling Queen, Reggie, Karen, Ritchie, Danny, Patty and all the rest. It is SO hard to leave you but at least we can say that we have had MANY laughs, a few fights and loads of adventures together! Much love to you all and thank you for all the help and support you have given us over the years. You are honorary Orphans for life. ### Ryan

"Mr. Koch, who until recently had taken the position that closing bathhouses, sex clubs and the like would not stop high...
11/08/2019
Gay History: November 7, 1985: NYC Closes the "Notorious" MINESHAFT, READ The NY Times Article

"Mr. Koch, who until recently had taken the position that closing bathhouses, sex clubs and the like would not stop high-risk sex, said he thought closing the Mine Shaft might stop some of the sexual practices that had been taking place there. ”The Bible says, if you save one life, it’s as though you have saved the whole world,” he said, alluding to a similarly worded passage that is actually in the Talmud."
http://www.back2stonewall.com/2019/11/gay-history-november-7-1985-nyc-closes-the-notorious-mineshaft-read-the-ny-times-article.html

New York City yesterday closed a bar frequented by homosexuals, contending that it permitted ''high-risk sexual activity'' linked to the spread of AIDS.

On December 5th: "Different from the Others," the landmark silent film about secrecy and oppression that continues to pl...
11/07/2019

On December 5th:
"Different from the Others," the landmark silent film about secrecy and oppression that continues to play out in today’s world. With original live accompaniment by Provincetown musician and composer, Billy Hough.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the earliest surviving feature film about LGBTQ people, the Provincetown Film Society presents a special screening of the recently restored DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS. Once feared lost, it’s believed to be the only gay-themed movie from Germany’s progressive Weimar era that survived destruction after Hitler took power.

Thursday, December 5th, 2019 – 7:00 PM
Strand Theatre, Dorchester MA
$25 for general admission tickets includes the screening with live music accompaniment, a Q&A with film historian, a raffle of Provincetown Film Festival passes and other prizes, and a bonus musical set by Billy Hough. $75 VIP tickets include a pre-screening “Taste of Dorchester” reception.
Presented by Provincetown Film Society at Strand Theatre, Boston MA

https://calendar.artsboston.org/event/different-from-the-others/

Fellow Travelers starts at Boston Lyric Opera next week!Against a backdrop of 1950s paranoia in Washington, D.C., two me...
11/06/2019

Fellow Travelers starts at Boston Lyric Opera next week!

Against a backdrop of 1950s paranoia in Washington, D.C., two men are swept into a passionate love affair, just as Senator McCarthy ratchets up his hunt for “sexual subversives” in the government. Based on the best-selling book by Thomas Mallon, Fellow Travelers is both a story of the heart and a taut political thriller, creating an instant contemporary classic. The History Project's followers can get discounted tickets for as low as $25 at the link below!

The History Project (promo code THP)
https://ticketing.blo.org/single/SYOS.aspx?p=1052&promo=THP

"Magie Dominic is the artist preserving the history of Caffe Cino, which she calls "the foundation for everything," and ...
11/05/2019
Local Legend: Magie Dominic Won't Let NYC Forget Caffe Cino

"Magie Dominic is the artist preserving the history of Caffe Cino, which she calls "the foundation for everything," and is best known as the home of New York City's gay playwrights in the 1960s, when it was illegal to depict gay experiences on stage."

Artist Magie Dominic discusses Chelsea and the history of a Cornelia Street theater she says is "the foundation for everything."

The Arlington International Film Festival (Nov. 7-10) features some notable films this year, including:Fri, Nov 8th: Tac...
11/03/2019

The Arlington International Film Festival (Nov. 7-10) features some notable films this year, including:

Fri, Nov 8th: Tackling Life, about Germany’s first gay and inclusive rugby club.

Sat, Nov 9th: Thicker Than Blood (pictured) A young gay man who returns home for the first time in three years for a weekend celebration filled with revelations and turmoil

More info and tickets at:
https://aiffest.org/schedule/?fbclid=IwAR0Gxfq9cCz_M32WRjY3FIOqceSw3Dz5uSa9TH8uFPm-LRZ0UhU4yEcT0Lk

Thanks to Bambi Gauthier for the write up, and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation for the photo:"I came across this pi...
10/27/2019

Thanks to Bambi Gauthier for the write up, and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation for the photo:

"I came across this picture of Christopher Isherwood, Truman Capote and his lover, Newton Arvin taken July 1947 on Nantucket. The picture was taken by Bill Caskey, Isherwood's then partner right before their voyage to Latin America which led to Isherwood's book, The Condor and the Cows (1949) with images by Caskey.

"The picture with Capote and Arvin holds significance to me as Arvin was a professor at Smith College and because of his sexuality and I'm sure in some part because of his leftist politics he was arrested for possessing lewd materials and forced to testify against others. His career ended and within a few years he was dead. A fantastic scholar of Whitman and Melville he sought to understand the complexity of who they were. Sadly, some of his scholarship was dimmed by his own internalized homophobia but still his work was empathetic, searching and diligent. Thanks Nick for reminding me of this image.

"Isherwood's diary only lists his arrival on Nantucket and his departure leaving little information about their short stay & sadly this trip is only mentioned in a few paragraphs in Arvin's biography with no mention of Isherwood or Caskey, yet this is the most intimate image I've seen of Capote with Arvin.

"Several years ago, a symposium was held at Smith to discuss the legacy of it"s treatment towards Arvin and two other professors and I was pleased to see an apology and reckoning of how fear led to ruined lives."

“There is an art history play going on in the work. Even in the S&M images, the posing is based on some 19th-century s...
10/22/2019
Gay Semiotics: Hal Fischer’s Landmark 1970s Photo Series, in His Own Words

“There is an art history play going on in the work. Even in the S&M images, the posing is based on some 19th-century sculpture. My street fashion pictures are deeply influenced by August Sanders...I waited to see how [my subjects] would stand. I didn’t dress those people; I found them like that."

Hal Fischer’s photography series, Gay Semiotics, deconstructed the ways his queer contemporaries in 1970s San Francisco presented themselves. Here, Fischer tells Another Man the story behind the series – and why he would never do a modern-day version

The History Project's new exhibit, LGBTQ+ History in Cambridge: 50 Years of Activism, will be on display in the lobby of...
10/09/2019

The History Project's new exhibit, LGBTQ+ History in Cambridge: 50 Years of Activism, will be on display in the lobby of Cambridge City Hall through the month of October.

A launch event was held at Cambridge City Hall on Monday, October 7.

The exhibit and launch event were sponsored by Mayor Marc C. McGovern, City Manager Louis A. DePasquale, the Cambridge LGBTQ+ Commission, and The History Project.

LGBTQ+ History in Cambridge: 50 Years of Activism was curated by Libby Bouvier, Mark Krone, and Jessica Taylor, and designed by Jim Gibson.

The History Project's new exhibit, LGBTQ+ History in Cambridge: 50 Years of Activism, will be on display in the lobby of Cambridge City Hall through the month of October.

A launch event was held at Cambridge City Hall on Monday, October 7.

The exhibit and launch event were sponsored by Mayor Marc C. McGovern, City Manager Louis A. DePasquale, the Cambridge LGBTQ+ Commission, and The History Project.

LGBTQ+ History in Cambridge: 50 Years of Activism was curated by Libby Bouvier, Mark Krone, and Jessica Taylor, and designed by Jim Gibson.

Today at 4:30pm! Mayor’s Office Reception for LGBTQ+ History MonthIn recognition of LGBTQ+ History Month, the Mayor’...
10/07/2019

Today at 4:30pm! Mayor’s Office Reception for LGBTQ+ History Month

In recognition of LGBTQ+ History Month, the Mayor’s Office is hosting a reception in the Mayor’s Parlor on Monday, October 7, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. The reception will also showcase LGBTQ+ historical items and display compiled in collaboration with the Cambridge Historical Commission and The History Project, including the first same-sex marriage license issued in the United States. There will be a brief speaking portion. Fall themed refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact Wil Durbin, [email protected], x4313.

Many thanks to Gary Bailey, Reverend Irene Monroe, Reverend Jay Williams, and Corey Yarbrough for participating in the p...
10/01/2019

Many thanks to Gary Bailey, Reverend Irene Monroe, Reverend Jay Williams, and Corey Yarbrough for participating in the panel discussion, “Black, Queer, and Spiritual,” which followed the matinee performance of "Choir Boy" at SpeakEasy Stage Company on Sunday, Sept. 29. Afterward, "Choir Boy" director Maurice Emmanuel Parent joined the panel on stage for a photo and further discussion.

'[Reading Sullivan's diaries] gave me the rare, uncanny experience of reliving my youth through his, of cataloging his m...
09/25/2019
Meet Lou Sullivan, the Pioneer Who Taught the World That Trans Men Can Be Gay

'[Reading Sullivan's diaries] gave me the rare, uncanny experience of reliving my youth through his, of cataloging his moments of idiocy and bliss as though they were my own, with a specificity I didn’t know was possible. After Sullivan speaks for the first time, by phone, with another trans man, he writes, “I felt very masculine talking with him, and very relaxed, like for the 1st time I was talking with someone who understood what I meant.”'

A new collection of his journals covers the range of his exuberant, groundbreaking life.

Weekend long read (with photos to die for): Cathy Horyn’s introduction to "Bill Cunningham: On the Street""For years, ...
09/21/2019
All About Bill

Weekend long read (with photos to die for): Cathy Horyn’s introduction to "Bill Cunningham: On the Street"

"For years, the assumption around the Times was that he came from a rich Boston family, in part because he seemed to know every blue blood since the Mayflower. But in reality, he was a son of a postal worker and a homemaker from suburban Boston."

Read Cathy Horyn’s introduction to Bill Cunningham: On the Street.

"When we think of The Harlem Renaissance, we typically think of leaders such as Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker and Bes...
09/19/2019
The Harlem Renaissance’s Forgotten History: Black LGBT Leaders Who Were A Major Part Of The Movement - Blavity

"When we think of The Harlem Renaissance, we typically think of leaders such as Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker and Bessie Smith. What we don’t know (or rather don’t acknowledge) is that those same leaders were LGBTQ individuals... Here are just a few..."

This piece was submitted from a member of our enthusiastic community of readers. If you’re interested in sharing your opinion on any cultural, political or personal topic, create an account here and check out our how-to post to learn more. The Harlem Renaissance was one of the biggest turning poin...

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