Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

National Park Service releases LGBTQ theme study

The National Park Service used the occasion of National Coming Out Day (October 11) to release its mammoth history of the LGBTQ community, which preservationists hope will assist in the protection of various LGBTQ historic sites across the country.


Called “LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History,” the document, at more than 1,200 pages, looks at several U.S. cities, as well as demographic groups such as African-American, Asian-American, Latino/a, two-spirit, and transgender people.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who oversees the Park Service, is expected to be on a conference call with reporters later Tuesday to discuss the theme study.

Events that took place in San Francisco, as well as leaders within the local LGBT community, can be found throughout the document. Among those mentioned are the Compton’s Cafeteria riot of 1966, the late gay supervisor Harvey Milk, the early lesbian group Daughters of Bilitis, the late historian Alan Berube, and bisexual leader Lani Ka’ahumanu, who was a peer reviewer of the study.

LGBTs and straight allies involved with the project praised the Park Service for completing the document, which was edited by Megan Springate, a queer woman who is seeking her Ph.D. in archaeology at the University of Maryland.

“I am really pleased that the Park Service is really expanding the entire system so that all Americans of every walk of life can have some experience they can relate to in the park system,” said Santa Rosa Junior College anthropology Professor Sandra Hollimon, a straight ally whose husband is a retired California state park ranger. “I am absolutely delighted these park sites in the system are being honored.”

The Bay Area Reporter will have a story on its website later Tuesday morning and more on the theme study in Thursday’s paper.

– Matthew S. Bajko and Cynthia Laird

— Cynthia Laird, October 11, 2016 @ 5:00 am PST
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