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.

Alexander Chee, T Cooper, Garth Greenwell, Eileen Myles, Darryl Pinckney, Brontez Purnell, Michelle Tea, T Kira Madden a...
05/20/2019
[Forum] Stonewall at Fifty | Harper's Magazine

Alexander Chee, T Cooper, Garth Greenwell, Eileen Myles, Darryl Pinckney, Brontez Purnell, Michelle Tea, T Kira Madden answer the surprisingly fraught question: What does Stonewall mean to you?

By Alexander Chee, T Cooper, Garth Greenwell, Eileen Myles, Darryl Pinckney, Brontez Purnell, and Michelle Tea

"AIDS robbed our community of its best and brightest with the swift and indiscriminate swell of a plague, so I’ve alwa...
05/17/2019
Imagining Futures For My Uncle Joe Joe, Who Died Too Young Of AIDS

"AIDS robbed our community of its best and brightest with the swift and indiscriminate swell of a plague, so I’ve always struggled with the idea of aging. I had no examples of healthy, gay Black men living exuberantly into old age to look to growing up. How could I imagine that world for myself? And if I am lucky enough to make it to Wallace’s age, will I end up alone too?"

The years have not been gentle to my memories of my uncle. Meeting my mother's friend Wallace brought them streaming back.

Monday, June 10: LGBTQ+ Pride Author Talk in BostonAmy Hoffman, Russ Lopez, Martha Stone and Richard Schneider discuss "...
05/16/2019
In Search of Stonewall

Monday, June 10: LGBTQ+ Pride Author Talk in Boston
Amy Hoffman, Russ Lopez, Martha Stone and Richard Schneider discuss "In Search of Stonewall," and the significance of the Stonewall riots as they relate to their personal experience & research.

In collaboration with the Boston Public Library and the Boston Pride Committee the Boston-based Gay and Lesbian Review will host a Stonewall 50-themed panel discussion during Boston Pride week. The Review began publishing as the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review in 1994, the year of Stonewall 25. It ch...

"Camp should be fun. Has the cultural conversation of the last few weeks, especially around the Gala, felt fun to you? ....
05/15/2019
Stop Trying to Declare What Camp “Is”

"Camp should be fun. Has the cultural conversation of the last few weeks, especially around the Gala, felt fun to you? ...This moment feels like camp-as-competition, camp-as-prize, camp with winners and losers—all fight, no fun."

The Met’s manic new exhibit doesn’t, and neither should you.

"DeLarverie’s own denial of sparking the uprising should challenge us to reconsider our community’s obsession with c...
05/14/2019
It Doesn't Matter Who Threw the First Brick at Stonewall

"DeLarverie’s own denial of sparking the uprising should challenge us to reconsider our community’s obsession with crediting the start of the riots to a singular person... Stonewall and the movement it sparked was, at heart, a collective uprising — one that cannot be attributed to a single person or small group of people. To do so erases the efforts of many other people who fought for the cause of queer liberation."

To attribute the riots to one person erases the work of many who risked their lives for queer liberation.

Notes on our new website from our friends at kor group, who made a tremendous in-kind donation to the project.
05/10/2019
The History Project Website - kor group

Notes on our new website from our friends at kor group, who made a tremendous in-kind donation to the project.

Designing and developing this website was truly a labor of love. Our goal was to bring the organization’s mission of documenting, preserving, and sharing Greater Boston’s LGBTQ history to life through the use of rich visuals, color, a streamlined user experience, and elegant typography. We also ...

Click through and give the NYT your suggestions!
05/01/2019
Which L.G.B.T.Q. Figures Should Get Monuments in New York?

Click through and give the NYT your suggestions!

The city has been working to diversify its statuary, planning tributes to more women and people of color. Now it is time to look toward representing another important community.

This Thursday evening, author and THP friend Robert Fieseler will be in conversation with NPR "Here & Now" co-host Jerem...
04/30/2019
Robert W. Fieseler In Conversation With Jeremy Hobson

This Thursday evening, author and THP friend Robert Fieseler will be in conversation with NPR "Here & Now" co-host Jeremy Hobson at the Boston Athenaeum. They'll be discussing Robert's newly Edgar Award-winning book, "Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation." (Congratulations, Robert!)

Jeremy Hobson, co-host of Here & Now, will sit down with author Robert W. Fieseler to discuss his latest book, "Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation."

Ahead of this Sunday's Hanky Panky dance party (do you have tickets yet?), our good friend Raul Cornier offers this hand...
04/24/2019
Hanky Panky: An Abridged History of the Hanky Code | The History Project

Ahead of this Sunday's Hanky Panky dance party (do you have tickets yet?), our good friend Raul Cornier offers this handy lesson about the origin and use of the hanky code. Our thanks to Raul - and we hope to see you all Sunday!

The hanky code was a covert sartorial code used predominately by queer men in the 1970s and into the 1980s. Simply put, a bandana is worn in one’s back pocket for the purposes of sexual signaling.

Hanky Panky - a History Project dance party/fundraiser celebrating the hanky code - is less than 2 weeks away! You don't...
04/16/2019
Hanky Panky: A Flagging Party

Hanky Panky - a History Project dance party/fundraiser celebrating the hanky code - is less than 2 weeks away! You don't want to miss special guest DJ Jimmy DePre. Get your tickets online now at the link below...

Hanky Panky: A Flagging Party - a new way to celebrate and support LGBT history! Join us as we bring back the hanky code - the color-coded signaling system from the 70s & 80s - to support the work of The History Project. Featuring music by DJ Jimmy DePre. Presented by SIP Tea Dance. All are welcome!...

'"We have information that you are a homosexual. What do you have to say in your defense?"  That's the question investig...
04/12/2019
The Lavender Scare

'"We have information that you are a homosexual. What do you have to say in your defense?" That's the question investigators asked countless U.S. government workers in a forty-year campaign to remove gay men and lesbians from the federal workforce....'

The first documentary film to tell the story of the U.S. government's decades-long effort to identify and fire gay and lesbian employees.

04/11/2019
The Other Boston Tea Party, The Hippest Club in Town - New England Historical Society

"Stage manager Stanley Kastner had to hold the piano so it wouldn’t collapse while Little Richard danced on it. While the audience gave him a 45-minute ovation, Kastner said Little Richard went backstage to get paid in cash. He took a gun out of a metal briefcase, counted the bills and left while the audience was still applauding."

If you couldn't get to Woodstock, you could see most of the festival's bands for a few bucks in a rundown church known as the other Boston Tea Party.

"Joan E. Biren began to photograph at a time when it was almost impossible to find authentic images of lesbians and aime...
04/10/2019
Photos of Lesbian Lives Meant to Inspire a Movement

"Joan E. Biren began to photograph at a time when it was almost impossible to find authentic images of lesbians and aimed to help build a movement for their liberation."

Joan E. Biren began to photograph at a time when it was almost impossible to find authentic images of lesbians and aimed to help build a movement for their liberation.

'“I understand the sentiment of people at the time because I lost dozens and dozens of friends,” Carson says. “I a...
04/07/2019
On the Eve of the Black Party, Remembering What It Meant to Dance All Night in 1989

'“I understand the sentiment of people at the time because I lost dozens and dozens of friends,” Carson says. “I also can vouch that many of those same friends danced and danced and danced—and would be glad to know that we’re still dancing today.”'

Death surrounded the iconic gay event, and yet the music played on.

This sounds incredible... and check out Historic New England's Ken Turino on the "Reinterpreting the House Museum" panel...
03/25/2019
Stonewall 50: Defining LGBTQ Site Preservation, at Columbia's Earl Hall

This sounds incredible... and check out Historic New England's Ken Turino on the "Reinterpreting the House Museum" panel!

STONEWALL 50: DEFINING LGBTQ SITE PRESERVATION A symposium on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots co-presented by Columbia GSAPP, the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project and QSAPP April 6, 2019 Columbia University, Avery Hall, Wood Auditorium 1:00pm-5:00pm The day will begin with...

We're looking for Events & Outreach volunteers! Interested in hosting a book club, game night, or movie night? Got an id...
03/21/2019

We're looking for Events & Outreach volunteers!
Interested in hosting a book club, game night, or movie night? Got an idea for something totally new and history related? Please join us on April 1!

The History Project's Events & Outreach Committee is holding an open house for new volunteers on Monday, April 1, at 6:00pm in our Back Bay/South End archives/offices at 29 Stanhope Street (4th floor)!

The team will share info about upcoming event plans, and then they want to hear from you.

Email [email protected] if you're planning to join us.

It's St. Patrick's Day in Boston! We have some, er, history to remember. Written by Susan Ryan-Vollmar, a HistoryMaker i...
03/17/2019
#SorryNotSorry To Rain On Your St. Patrick's Day Parade

It's St. Patrick's Day in Boston! We have some, er, history to remember.

Written by Susan Ryan-Vollmar, a HistoryMaker in her own right.

Does Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade now have GLBT participants? Yes. Is the story over yet? No.

"When Purdy died... [t]hey praised his bizarre, savage wit, his dreamlike vernacular prose and its ability to conjure up...
03/13/2019
'I'm not a gay writer, I'm a monster': did James Purdy foresee Trump's America?

"When Purdy died... [t]hey praised his bizarre, savage wit, his dreamlike vernacular prose and its ability to conjure up gothic midwestern landscapes of beguiled innocence, grotesque violence and gender-fluid racial and sexual obsession. But they also pointed out that this white, midwestern writer who wrote about outsiders – women, African Americans, gay people, Native Americans – was himself cast out by the US literary establishment."

At first he was feted. But then his novel about a handsome, Yale-educated serial rapist made him an outcast. Ten years after his death, has the scabrous author’s time finally come?

"In pushing for answers, Steve Johnson put a spotlight on what one parliamentary leader called a “shameful period” i...
03/12/2019
Cambridge man seeks justice for brother killed 30 years ago in Australia - The Boston Globe

"In pushing for answers, Steve Johnson put a spotlight on what one parliamentary leader called a “shameful period” in New South Wales during the 1980s and 1990s when gay men were attacked for sport while police looked the other way."

Steve Johnson’s single-minded quest over three decades to learn what happened to his younger brother, Scott, who died in 1988, has shined a light on a dark period in Australian history when gay men were attacked for sport while police turned the other way.

Masha Gessen talks to the pioneering filmmaker about her career, her quest to die with dignity, and why being a lesbian ...
03/10/2019
Barbara Hammer’s Exit Interview

Masha Gessen talks to the pioneering filmmaker about her career, her quest to die with dignity, and why being a lesbian is so much fun.

The pioneering filmmaker talks about her career, her quest to die with dignity, and why being a lesbian is so much fun.

"As a “gay orphan,” someone who entered his 30s with no guidance or friendship from the generation above me—no fat...
03/09/2019
I Lost All My Gay Role Models to AIDS—Be Grateful You Won't Lose Yours

"As a “gay orphan,” someone who entered his 30s with no guidance or friendship from the generation above me—no father figures—I missed out on the personal side of my history. The things I had to discover secondhand, like Stonewall and Harvey Milk. I’d hate to see the generation below me take that path deliberately, snuffing out older gay men out on purpose the way mine were taken randomly."

Respect your elders, because unlike mine, they'll live long, healthy lives.

Liz Barnez and Lori Daigle talk about meeting as teens in 1981 in Louisiana, and what brought them together many years l...
03/08/2019
Lori Daigle and Liz Barnez

Liz Barnez and Lori Daigle talk about meeting as teens in 1981 in Louisiana, and what brought them together many years later. Sweet!

Liz Barnez and Lori Daigle felt an immediate spark when they met as teenagers. At StoryCorps, they sat down to remember how they reconnected decades later.

We need your votes for Stonewall 50 banners in Boston!In June 2019, large banners and posters will spring up in the Bost...
03/08/2019
Boston Stonewall 50

We need your votes for Stonewall 50 banners in Boston!

In June 2019, large banners and posters will spring up in the Boston area on buildings where our history was made. They'll link to The History Project's website, which will explain and illustrate the history of those sites. We won’t be able to hang banners from every location where LGBTQ history was made (we were, and are, everywhere!) but with your help we’d like to hang about a dozen from historic buildings.

Help us select banner sites by voting for your favorite locations! Vote and make suggestions here:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T38MLQ6

Image: Scollay Square, Boston, ca. 1940s

"But I know why you’re here / She wants to know how I feel / Tell her that I’m happy / Tell her that I’m gay / Tel...
02/24/2019
Transgender Soul Music Pioneer Jackie Shane Recorded Her Biggest Hit In 1960s Boston – WONDERLAND

"But I know why you’re here / She wants to know how I feel / Tell her that I’m happy / Tell her that I’m gay / Tell her I wouldn’t have it / Any other way.”

MusicFebruary 23, 2019 Greg Cook 0Jackie Shane—the electrifying soul singer, black cult heroine, and transgender pioneer—died this week in Nashville at age 78. “Any Other Way,” a box set of Shane’s music released in 2017 by the Chicago-based archival label Numero Group, had sparked renewed...

02/14/2019
NPR

A Valentine's Day treat - the animated story of two gay veterans who got married in the veterans home where they now live. https://www.facebook.com/NPR/videos/389194781893077/

John, 100, and Jerry, 72, are military veterans who served in World War II and Vietnam, respectively. They were married in the veterans home where they now live. (from @Storycorps' animated series "The Love Season")

On Newton, MA-born drag performer Julian Eltinge: "Eltinge also sought to differentiate himself by cultivating an especi...
02/12/2019
This Drag Queen Was Once the Highest Paid Actor in the World

On Newton, MA-born drag performer Julian Eltinge:
"Eltinge also sought to differentiate himself by cultivating an especially “butch” public image, because even a hint of homosexuality would have destroyed his career: He participated in staged boxing matches, lit cigars after performances, and was even said to have been stabbed by a marlin. Because it was said that Eltinge knew how to manipulate the press, rumors of his sexuality were mostly averted, though Eltinge was a lifelong bachelor."

Julian Eltinge gave female impersonation a high-class sheen, paving the way for generations of drag to come.

A stunning and heartbreaking testament to the importance of documenting and preserving history'Dorothea Lange—well kno...
02/08/2019
Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps

A stunning and heartbreaking testament to the importance of documenting and preserving history

'Dorothea Lange—well known for her FSA photographs like Migrant Mother—was hired by the U.S. government to make a photographic record of the “evacuation” and “relocation” of Japanese-Americans in 1942. She was eager to take the commission, despite being opposed to the effort, as she believed “a true record of the evacuation would be valuable in the future.”'

The military seized her photographs, quietly depositing them in the National Archives, where they remained mostly unseen and unpublished until 2006.

“…Scott not only destroyed the myth of the perfect but powerless ‘southern lady,’ but demonstrated how southern ...
02/07/2019
Women's History Pioneer Anne Firor Scott Has Died at 97

“…Scott not only destroyed the myth of the perfect but powerless ‘southern lady,’ but demonstrated how southern women found their own roles in the public square.”

Pioneering historian Anne Firor Scott, who helped establish the field of women’s history and taught at Duke for three decades, has died. She was 97. Scott was awarded a National Humanities Medal in 2013. In making the award, the National Endowment for the Humanities praised Scott’s “groundbrea...

Address

29 Stanhope St
Boston, MA
02116

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

General information

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

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston:

Videos

Category

Nearby museums