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.

Operating as usual

Pack a picnic snack and join us in Gloucester tomorrow! Click through to register at Historic New England...
09/10/2021

Pack a picnic snack and join us in Gloucester tomorrow! Click through to register at Historic New England...

Ear Hustle is a fascinating podcast about life in prison. This episode from a few years back explores questions of how  ...
09/01/2021
Episode 18: Down Low — Ear Hustle

Ear Hustle is a fascinating podcast about life in prison. This episode from a few years back explores questions of how incarcerated men deal with issues related to LGBTQ identity. Note that the episode includes strong language.

https://www.earhustlesq.com/episodes/2018/6/6/down-low

Inside San Quentin, if you’re gay you hide it, but if you’re trans you can’t hide it. In this episode, we dive into what it's like to be LGBTQ in prison.

Join us on Saturday, September 11, 3:30-5:00pm, for an intimate Pride Tour (and BYO picnic) of Beauport, the Sleeper-McC...
08/31/2021

Join us on Saturday, September 11, 3:30-5:00pm, for an intimate Pride Tour (and BYO picnic) of Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, in Gloucester!

Beauport tells the story of a gay man in the early twentieth century: celebrated interior designer Henry Davis Sleeper. Tour the house to learn about Sleeper’s family and friends, and hear readings from books and letters written by Sleeper and his social circle. Discover the challenges facing historians interpreting LGBTQ+ history.

Call 617-994-6679 for discounted tickets with The History Project! Or click through to order tickets online: https://my.historicnewengland.org/11757/13129

The History Project is pleased to announce John Ward as our 2021 HistoryMaker Awards honoree and Tre'Andre Valentine as ...
08/25/2021
2021 HistoryMaker Awards, Presented by The History Project

The History Project is pleased to announce John Ward as our 2021 HistoryMaker Awards honoree and Tre'Andre Valentine as our 2021 Lavender Rhino honoree. Join us on November 4th to celebrate! 🎉🏆🌈🦏

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-historymaker-awards-presented-by-the-history-project-tickets-168162625941

The History Project invites you to celebrate Boston's le***an, gay, bis*xual, transgender, and q***r (LGBTQ) history.

We're excited to see you in September for two events!September 8th: Stories of our Inheritance: An Evening of Memory Sha...
08/24/2021
Upcoming Events | The History Project

We're excited to see you in September for two events!

September 8th: Stories of our Inheritance: An Evening of Memory Sharing with LGBT Elders of Color with Flashback Sunday 💃🎉

September 9th: Out of the Archives: Witches, S*x, and Q***r People in Massachusetts: 1644-2021 with Peter Muise 🧙‍♀️🧹

Learn more and RSVP at www.historyproject.org/events 🌈🥳

The History Project is seeking to improve our historical record on Black Q***r Boston. In 1997, THP curated “Black and G...
08/09/2021

The History Project is seeking to improve our historical record on Black Q***r Boston. In 1997, THP curated “Black and Gay in Black and White,” a groundbreaking exhibition exploring the cultural and social contributions of local Black LGBTQ artists and activists. This history is incomplete thus we seek to amplify the voices, perspectives and lived experiences of Black q***r people with a more expansive and intentional lens. WE NEED YOUR HELP - please consider submitting historical events here: https://forms.gle/UcioEEZCu5ULe3pH6 or alternatively write to us on here or email [email protected] for us to set up a time to interview you!

08/02/2021
Acknowledging 40 Years of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic

In July, the world marked the 40th anniversary of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We don't know when the epidemic started, but that summer, we heard the first reports of a mysterious illness afflicting the American gay community. That mysterious illness was soon recognized as HIV/AIDS.

At The History Project, we aim to document, preserve, and share all of Boston’s LGBTQ history: the good, the bad, the tragic, and the transcendent. Over the last 40 years, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been all of these things. We present this video as a remembrance and celebration of those we’ve lost, their loved ones, and those impacted today by HIV/AIDS. To help support our work, such as our extensive digital collection of AIDS obituaries, please visit: http://historyproject.org/support

Many thanks to our readers, Gary Bailey, Kevin Cranston, Russ Lopez, Louise Rice, Jessica Taylor, and Zola Powell, and to Devlo Media for their production support.

An excerpt of our statement regarding the dissolution of the Boston Pride organization: "Pride celebrations have not bee...
07/13/2021
A Statement on Boston Pride, July 13, 2021 | The History Project

An excerpt of our statement regarding the dissolution of the Boston Pride organization: "Pride celebrations have not been organized by one group or organization over time, and celebrations have evolved to meet the needs of the LGBTQ community. The decision of Boston Pride’s Board of Directors to dissolve the organization rather than evolve or support a successor is disappointing and demonstrates that it is, once again, time for new, community-driven leadership and ideas for Greater Boston’s Pride events and celebrations. The History Project, as Boston’s LGBTQ community archives, looks forward to continuing to document the evolving histories of our community, including how our community commemorates the Stonewall Riots and celebrates Pride."

Read the full statement, including a short history of organizing Pride, on our website: http://historyproject.org/news/2021-07/statement-boston-pride-july-13-2021

BOSTON, MA (JULY 13, 2021) On July 9, 2021, Boston Pride’s Board of Directors released a statement announcing the dissolution of the Boston Pride organization

Check out this "The Story of LBGTQ Life at MIT" timeline.
06/30/2021
The Story of LBGTQ Life at MIT

Check out this "The Story of LBGTQ Life at MIT" timeline.

1861: Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded in Boston's Back Bay, subsequently crossing the Charles River in 1916 to its current location in Cambridge. 1969: Over 100 years later, MIT is one of the first institutions of higher education to have an LBGT student group, the Student Homophil...

Listen: “We've lost so many spaces. And it's not just Boston, it's across the United States,” says West. “Playland repre...
06/29/2021
Upcoming Film 'Playland' Serves As Memorial To Boston's Lost LGBTQ Spaces

Listen: “We've lost so many spaces. And it's not just Boston, it's across the United States,” says West. “Playland represents the sort of lost gem of q***r life within the 1900s. It’s a warning sign for what can happen to q***r nightlife in Boston, should we not be advocating and supporting it and also resisting the sort of government intervention into these spaces."

Georden West had been developing an idea about LGBTQ nightclub workers for years. The pandemic shutting everything down made the task of writing the film even more urgent, as they spent the time preparing for production and reflecting on the loss of life and much needed community space.

“It’s time-consuming,” Will says. “It’s like if you were to sit down at grandma’s house with five of your great aunts an...
06/25/2021
The Precious, Precarious Work of Q***r Archiving in the Pacific Northwest

“It’s time-consuming,” Will says. “It’s like if you were to sit down at grandma’s house with five of your great aunts and ask them to identify who’s in this picture, who’s in that picture, and then transcribe their conversation and make sure your text matches each photo.”

Local legacy-keepers are working to ensure that the histories aren't lost or forgotten.

Our #PrideMonth2021 Collection is Now Available!This year's collection features three retro designs from the archives:🌈 ...
06/05/2021
The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston | DONATE TO SUPPORT LGBTQ HISTORY | Bonfire

Our #PrideMonth2021 Collection is Now Available!
This year's collection features three retro designs from the archives:
🌈 1970 - Love is All You Need
🌈 1981 - Le***an and Gay Pride - if not now when... if not you who?
🌈 LGBTQ Liberation Buttons. Also available as a mug, tote bag, or hat!

All purchases support our efforts to document, preserve, and share LGBTQ history. Thanks for your support!

https://www.bonfire.com/store/the-history-project/

The History Project documents, preserves, and shares Boston's LGBTQ history. The History Project is Boston's LGBTQ community archives. A volunteer-driven 501(c)3 organization...

In solidarity with calls for the transformation of the Boston Pride organization, The History Project will not participa...
06/01/2021
The History Project supports Trans Resistance MA and Pride 4 the People and calls for transformation at Boston Pride | The History Project

In solidarity with calls for the transformation of the Boston Pride organization, The History Project will not participate in official Boston Pride events in 2021. The History Project supports the Trans Resistance March and Vigil for Black Trans Lives taking place on June 12.
Read our full statement: http://historyproject.org/news/2021-06/history-project-supports-trans-resistance-ma-and-pride-4-people-and-calls

Trans Resistance Pride 4 the People

BOSTON, MA (JUNE 1, 2021) Each June, during Pride Month, the LGBTQ+ community and its allies recall the riots, protests, and gains of the past.

Our friends at the Boston Athenæum invite you to "The Deviant's War: The Homos*xual vs. the United States of America" Vi...
05/24/2021

Our friends at the Boston Athenæum invite you to "The Deviant's War: The Homos*xual vs. the United States of America" Virtual Book talk with Eric Cervini in conversation with Robert Fiesler.

Free and open to the public. Wednesday, June 2nd at 6PM. RSVP here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mg1jcUh1Qjq3FwUorPNLBw

In 1957, Frank Kameny, was a rising astronomer working for the U.S. Defense Department in Hawaii, when The Pentagon, having reason to believe he was a homos*xual, dismissed him from his government job. Unlike many others, though, Kameny fought back. Eric Cervini's The Deviant's War traces the forgotten ties that bound gay rights to the Black Freedom Movement, the New Left, le***an activism, and trans resistance.

Our friends at the Boston Athenæum invite you to "The Deviant's War: The Homos*xual vs. the United States of America" Virtual Book talk with Eric Cervini in conversation with Robert Fiesler.

Free and open to the public. Wednesday, June 2nd at 6PM. RSVP here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mg1jcUh1Qjq3FwUorPNLBw

In 1957, Frank Kameny, was a rising astronomer working for the U.S. Defense Department in Hawaii, when The Pentagon, having reason to believe he was a homos*xual, dismissed him from his government job. Unlike many others, though, Kameny fought back. Eric Cervini's The Deviant's War traces the forgotten ties that bound gay rights to the Black Freedom Movement, the New Left, le***an activism, and trans resistance.

Dr. Lawrence Mass explains the shameful and deadly science denialism in the history of the AIDS/HIV epidemic.
05/23/2021
Skepticism Of Science In A Pandemic Isn't New. It Helped Fuel The AIDS Crisis

Dr. Lawrence Mass explains the shameful and deadly science denialism in the history of the AIDS/HIV epidemic.

It's been 40 years since the first U.S. AIDS cases were were reported, and some who experienced the early years of the crisis say the effects of denialism then have carried into the COVID-19 pandemic.

A captivating article about important but lesser-known q***r Boston poet John Wieners. Just a snippet:"Wieners, Jonas, M...
05/21/2021
Q***r Shoulders at the Wheel

A captivating article about important but lesser-known q***r Boston poet John Wieners. Just a snippet:

"Wieners, Jonas, Marshall, Spicer, Joe Dunn, and Robin Bl**er formed what their latter-day comrade Gerrit Lansing would dub “the School of Boston . . . an occult school, unknown.” With the exception of Dunn, all were openly gay, and their preferred haunt was Beacon Hill... then still clinging to the red-light grittiness that in the nineteenth century had earned it the moniker Mount Whoredom. Its “ass side”—to use Jonas’s term—was home to a thriving scene of gay bars and counterculture hangouts. Here Boston gay patriarch Prescott Townsend owned a series of apartments which gave homes to the younger men he mentored, protected, and sometimes exploited... And here the Occult School published in fugitive, one-off magazines and limited-run chapbooks, envisioning poetry as a zone of mystical knowledge, turning conditions of marginality and enforced secrecy into tools of power. This is not necessarily the q***r poetry we’ve been taught to expect: pre-AIDS, pre-Stonewall, yet not in the least way closeted; experimental yet anti-elitist; coterie but defiantly lower class."

John Wieners was one of the most important gay poets of his generation, but subsequent decades have seen him all but forgotten. A new collection of his letters vividly returns him to readers.

'As the founding director of Visual AIDS, he helped develop campaigns including “Day Without Art” and, most notably, the...
05/06/2021
Patrick O’Connell, 67, Dies; Raised Awareness of AIDS With Art

'As the founding director of Visual AIDS, he helped develop campaigns including “Day Without Art” and, most notably, the ubiquitous red ribbon.'

As the founding director of Visual AIDS, he helped develop campaigns including “Day Without Art” and, most notably, the ubiquitous red ribbon.

Rest in Power Jahaira DeAlto.
05/03/2021

Rest in Power Jahaira DeAlto.

Yesterday we lost an esteemed trans activist, ballroom mother and founding organizer of Trans Resistance, Jahaira DeAlto. We are grieving and we are not okay. Trans Lives Matter and Jahaira should still be here. Jahaira worked as a trans community organizer for decades helping to start Trans Day of Remembrance, member of the House of Balenciga and working as a domestic violence advocate. Her murder is the 17th reported trans killing this year, putting 2021 on track to be the deadliest on record for trans Americans - again! Help us honor Jahaira’s legacy by donating to the Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts INC today.

See you June 12th at Franklin Park for the 2nd annual Trans Resistance March, Vigil and Pride fest where we will march in Jahaira's memory to end transphobia and uplift our "magical TQBIPOC community" as she said.

🏳️‍⚧️🏳️‍⚧️🏳️‍⚧️#translivesmatter

We're joining Mosesian Center for the Arts, History UnErased, and Greater Boston PFLAG for LGBTQ+ History Then and Now t...
05/03/2021

We're joining Mosesian Center for the Arts, History UnErased, and Greater Boston PFLAG for LGBTQ+ History Then and Now this Saturday at 4PM ET (following
Watertown Children's Theatre's 2PM virtual production of The Laramie Project). Sign up for this free panel discussion: https://www.mosesianarts.org/timedevents/1162?vrid=dTFiZTlnPT06OjViNDVjY2FhYTUyYjQ2YjYwOTMzYWIyNWYyZTQwODU1&showall=1

We're joining Mosesian Center for the Arts, History UnErased, and Greater Boston PFLAG for LGBTQ+ History Then and Now this Saturday at 4PM ET (following
Watertown Children's Theatre's 2PM virtual production of The Laramie Project). Sign up for this free panel discussion: https://www.mosesianarts.org/timedevents/1162?vrid=dTFiZTlnPT06OjViNDVjY2FhYTUyYjQ2YjYwOTMzYWIyNWYyZTQwODU1&showall=1

Walking tours like this sound like a good way to start venturing out again... Happy to see this tidbit about The George ...
05/01/2021
The Black Heritage Trail: A walking tour deep into Boston history - The Boston Globe

Walking tours like this sound like a good way to start venturing out again... Happy to see this tidbit about The George Middleton House:

"We exchange greetings and he shares with me his name and affiliation: Stephen Judge, fifth owner of the house. He lives there with his husband. Here is the story Judge relays: Middleton shared the house with his partner, Louis Glapion, who hailed from the Caribbean. Glapion, I’ve since discovered, worked as a hairdresser, an occupation of high standing in the Black community of the day, which would have made both Middleton and Glapion respected members of the contemporary Black community. Several sources support the inclusion of Middleton and Glapion in q***r histories."

The trail leads visitors through Beacon Hill and offers a glimpse of the 19th-century Black experience.

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

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Comments

Andrew Elder, sound familiar? "I also learned that some of the worst enemies of precious artifacts aren’t humans but mice, insects, and moisture. A copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle had come in to have sections of its cover mended. Made of rag paper in the late 1400s, the book blossomed with vibrantly colored woodcut illustrations. Metals in the paints were slowly breaking down the paper. A conservator invited me to smell the text to see if I could detect the rat-urine aroma he’d noted. To me, it just smelled musty. The bottom corners of the pages had been darkened by centuries of oily fingers flipping pages. The conservator imagined people sitting down to lunch while thumbing through it."
Come celebrate Pride with Boston Lesbigay, Fenway Health, Mass General Hospital and Saturday Church Boston on Friday, June 25th from 3 - 8 PM. Featuring DJ Why Sham! Free lunch! Gift certificates from restaurants and Final Boutique! Mr. Kool Ice Cream Truck! Hosted by #javawithJimmy Free masks, hand sanitizer and COVID vaccines for those who want it.
PLEASE SHARE: Please join Boston Lesbigay Urban Events, Fenway Health, Mass General Hospital and Saturday Church Boston this evening, Tuesday, June 22nd, for an LGBTQIA+ Vaccine Town Hall from 7 - 8 PM to have your questions anwered about the COVID Vaccine. http://bit.ly/townhalllgbtq
Art Smith has been documenting the social history of our community in his website GaayBarchives.com. He interviewed me recently about the memoir I wrote to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. He was especially interested in m y memories of Boston bars, especially Chaps from back in 1977. Here is the interview with illustrations: https://video.channel125.com/V9s19k1j The memoir is called: To Ornament My Soul A Stonewall Generation Memoir by Michael D. O'O'Connor You can Google it. The ebook is free and my gift to the community.
HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! Here I am, all the way on the left, with The History Project in Copley Square all the way back in 1980 - 41 years ago. I'm happy to say that both the Project and I are still going strong.
谢谢我的中国朋友说的话,我真是太糟糕了! Xièxiè wǒ de zhōngguó péngyǒu shuō dehuà, wǒ zhēnshi tài zāogāole 在电视节目“ Botched”上进行面部矫正手术之前,我曾经见过这个家伙,曾经告诉我,和我在一起就像是与SEXY DRAGON在一起!我看着他,我不知道该吻他还是打他一巴掌。大声笑,当我告诉我的一个女友是中国人时,他对我说龙是神秘的。她对我说,我应该称赞它。多亏我的中国朋友说的话,我并没有那么难过! 祝大家爱,幸福,和平,身体健康,繁荣,并得到许多美好的祝福... 拉吉·纳里辛格(Rajee Narinesingh)-变性主义者,女演员,写实主义者,作者, 节目主持人和真人秀电视人物 Zài diànshì jiémù “Botched” shàng jìnxíng miànbù jiǎozhèng shǒushù zhīqián, wǒ céngjīng jiànguò zhège jiāhuo, céngjīng gàosù wǒ, hé wǒ zài yīqǐ jiù xiàng shì yǔ SEXY DRAGON zài yīqǐ! Wǒ kànzhe tā, wǒ bù zhīdào gāi wěn tā háishì dǎ tā yī bāzhang. Dàshēng xiào, dāng wǒ gàosù wǒ de yīgè nǚyǒu shì zhōngguó rén shí, tā duì wǒ shuō lóng shì shénmì de. Tā duì wǒ shuō, wǒ yīnggāi chēngzàn tā. Duōkuī wǒ de zhōngguó péngyǒu shuō dehuà, wǒ bìng méiyǒu nàme nánguò! Zhù dàjiā ài, xìngfú, hépíng, shēntǐ jiànkāng, fánróng, bìng dédào xǔduō měihǎo de zhùfú... Lā ji·nà lǐ xīn gé (Rajee Narinesingh)-biànxìng zhǔyì zhě, nǚ yǎnyuán, xiěshí zhǔyì zhě, zuòzhě, jiémù zhǔchí rén hé zhēnrén xiù diànshì rénwù 謝謝我的中國朋友說的話,我真是太糟糕了! Xièxiè wǒ de zhōngguó péngyǒu shuō dehuà, wǒ zhēnshi tài zāogāole! 在電視節目“ Botched”上進行面部矯正手術之前,我曾經見過這個傢伙,曾經告訴我,和我在一起就像是與SEXY DRAGON在一起!我看著他,我不知道該吻他還是打他一巴掌。大聲笑,當我告訴我的一個女友是中國人時,他對我說龍是神秘的。她對我說,我應該稱讚它。多虧我的中國朋友說的話,我並沒有那麼難過! 祝大家愛,幸福,和平,身體健康,繁榮,並得到許多美好的祝福... 拉吉·納里辛格(Rajee Narinesingh)-變性主義者,女演員,寫實主義者,作者, 節目主持人和真人秀電視人物 Zài diànshì jiémù “Botched” shàng jìnxíng miànbù jiǎozhèng shǒushù zhīqián, wǒ céngjīng jiànguò zhège jiāhuo, céngjīng gàosù wǒ, hé wǒ zài yīqǐ jiù xiàng shì yǔ SEXY DRAGON zài yīqǐ! Wǒ kànzhe tā, wǒ bù zhīdào gāi wěn tā háishì dǎ tā yī bāzhang. Dà shēng xiào, dāng wǒ gàosù wǒ de yīgè nǚyǒu shì zhōngguó rén shí, tā duì wǒ shuō lóng shì shénmì de. Tā duì wǒ shuō, wǒ yīnggāi chēngzàn tā. Duōkuī wǒ de zhōngguó péngyǒu shuō dehuà, wǒ bìng méiyǒu nàme nánguò! Zhù dàjiā ài, xìngfú, hépíng, shēntǐ jiànkāng, fánróng, bìng dédào xǔduō měihǎo de zhùfú... Lā ji·nà lǐ xīn gé (Rajee Narinesingh)-biànxìng zhǔyì zhě, nǚ yǎnyuán, xiěshí zhǔyì zhě, zuòzhě, jiémù zhǔchí rén hé zhēnrén xiù diànshì rénwù THANKS TO WHAT MY CHINESE FRIEND SAID I DIDN'T FEEL SO BAD! Before my corrective facial surgery on the TV show "Botched", I used to see this guy who told me once that being with me was like being with a SEXY DRAGON! I looked at him and I didn't know whether to kiss him or slap him. LOL, When I told one of my girlfriends who is Chinese what he said she said to me that dragons are mystical. She said to me that I should take it as a compliment. Thanks to what my Chinese friend said I didn't feel so bad! I wish everyone Love, Happiness, Peace, Good Health, Prosperity, and many wonderful Blessings... Rajee Narinesingh - Transgender Activist, Actress, Spiritualist, Author, Show Host, and Reality TV Personality
We recruiting for a PAID focus group! Small business owners are welcome to join to learn more about how banking support can be most helpful for you and our community. Please call me so I can sign you up! 857-302-2780
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!