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LGBTQ+ Pride Month Resource Guide

Celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month with the National Archives

LGBTQ+ Pride Month







Celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month with the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration engages, educates, and inspires multiple audiences to discover and explore the records of the American people. We hold extensive records created or received by the U.S. Government on issues of sexual identity and rights. The records in the National Archives document the experience of the full range of our diverse society. Within our collections you will find records that constitute a rich documentary history of the experience of LGBTQ+ individuals.

Digital Transgender Archive

Digital Transgender Archive (DTA)

The purpose of the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA) is to increase the accessibility of transgender history by providing an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world. Based in Boston, Massachusetts at Northeastern University, the DTA is an international collaboration among more than sixty colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, public libraries, and private collections. By digitally localizing a wide range of trans-related materials, the DTA expands access to trans history for academics and independent researchers alike in order to foster education and dialog concerning trans history.

The First Drag Queen: William Dorsey Swann

His name was William Dorsey SwannWilliam Dorsey Swann photographed in black in white, performing in drag with another performer. , but to his friends he was known as “the Queen.” Born in Maryland in 1860, Swann endured slavery, the Civil War, racism, police surveillance, torture behind bars, and many other injustices. But beginning in the 1880s, he not only became the first American activist to lead a queer resistance group; he also became, in the same decade, the first known person to dub himself a “queen of drag”—or, more familiarly, a drag queen.

Though the Stonewall uprising of 1969 is often touted as the beginning of the fight for gay liberation, Swann’s courageous example forces us to rethink the history of the movement: when it began, where it came from, and who its leaders were. Coming of age at a time when an entirely new form of freedom and self-​determination was developing for African Americans, Swann and his house of butlers, coachmen, and cooks—the first Americans to regularly hold cross-dressing balls and the first to fight for the right to do so—arguably laid the foundations of contemporary queer celebration and protest. logo -- a black cartoon dinosaur in front of a rainbow. Text reads "An International LGBTQ+ Linked Data

The Homosaurus is an international linked data vocabulary of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) terms. This vocabulary is intended to function as a companion to broad subject term vocabularies, such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions are encouraged to use the Homosaurus to support LGBTQ research by enhancing the discoverability of their LGBTQ resources.

The Library is Open!

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Access a curated collection of titles highlighting diversity and inclusion, brought to you by The Palace Project and learn more about these examples of libraries striving for communities of inclusivity and support.

Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association

Rainbow Round Table 50th Anniversary Celebration (RRT) | GLBT News

Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association

Rainbow Round Table (RRT) of the American Library Association is committed to serving the information needs of the LGBTQIA+ professional library community, and the LGBTQIA+ information and access needs of individuals at large. We are committed to encouraging and supporting the free and necessary access to all information, as reflected by the missions of the American Library Association.

Spotlight on: Brenda Howard "Mother of Pride"

Black and white photo of Brenda Howard at march.Bronx born Brenda Howard is known as the “Mother of Pride” for coordinating a rally followed by the Christopher Street Liberation Day March to commemorate the 1st Anniversary of Stonewall Riot. She originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations now held worldwide. Howard, along with activists Robert A. Martin and L. Craig Schoonmaker is also credited with popularizing the word “Pride” to describe these festivities. A fixture in New York City's LGBT community, Howard was active in the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which helped guide New York City's LGBT rights law through the City Council in 1986. In 1987 Howard helped found the New York Area Bisexual Network to help co-ordinate services to the region's growing Bisexual community. She was also an active member of the early bisexual political activist group BiPAC, a Regional Organizer for BiNet USA, a co-facilitator of the Bisexual S/M Discussion Group, and a founder of the nation’s first Alcoholics Anonymous chapter for Bisexuals.



Spotlight on: Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. JohnsonMarsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945 – July 6, 1992) was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. Though some have mistakenly credited Johnson for starting the riots, Johnson was always forthcoming about having not been present when the riots began.

Johnson was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and co-founded the radical activist group Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), alongside close friend Sylvia Rivera. Johnson was also a popular figure in New York City's gay and art scene, modeling for Andy Warhol, and performing onstage with the drag performance troupe Hot Peaches. Johnson was known as the "mayor of Christopher Street" due to being a welcoming presence in the streets of Greenwich Village. From 1987 through 1992, Johnson was an AIDS activist with ACT UP. [Info pulled from Wikipedia]

Spotlight On: Stormé DeLarverie

portrait of storme delarverie in dragNobody knows for sure who threw the first punch at the Stonewall Uprising in New York City in 1969. But it’s widely believed that it could have been Stormé DeLarverie, a lifelong gay rights activist and drag performer, who died in 2014. Prior to her participation in Stonewall, DeLarverie was a groundbreaking drag performer whose publicity photographs show a dandyish approach to zoot suits and black tie. Gender-fluid dressing has become a major force in fashion over the past few seasons, but DeLarverie’s approach to style is an early, striking instance of it.

DeLarverie was born in New Orleans in 1920 to a black mother and a white father, and spent the ’50s and ’60s as the only “male impersonator” in the Jewel Box Revue, the period’s only racially integrated drag troupe.   Prior to her time with the Jewel Box, she’s said to have worked in Chicago as a bodyguard to mobsters, and one wonders if she picked up (or offered) some style tips. 

Spotlight On: Sylvia Rivera

A black and white photograph of Sylvia Rivera wearing black tights and white jacket, sitting in a chair with a cat in her lap.Sylvia Rivera [National Women's History Museum] was born in New York City in 1951 to a father from Puerto Rico and a mother from Venezuela. A veteran of the 1969 Stonewall Inn uprising, Rivera was a tireless advocate for those silenced and disregarded by larger movements. Throughout her life, she fought against the exclusion of transgender people, especially transgender people of color, from the larger movement for gay rights. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project continues her legacy, working to guarantee “all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. In 2019, New York City announced plans for a monument dedicated to Rivera and good friend Marsha P. Johnson. It will be the city’s—and according to New York City, the world’s—first monument dedicated to transgender individuals.

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