Main | Wednesday, January 16, 2013

LGBT History Museum Proposed For DC

Furniture mogul Mitchell Gold and his husband have proposed a national LGBT history museum for Washington DC. They've already started collecting items.

There are protest signs from demonstrations nationwide. There is a filmstrip of a 1970 gay pride parade in New York, which Gold serendipitously found buried in a case of gay porn contributed by the Museum of Sex. (“You can’t know what future generations are going to want to watch,” he said.) There is a sign from Lambda Rising, a Dupont Circle bookstore that closed in 2010, which Gold called “the closest thing I had to being where I belonged” as a college student. There is the violin and music stand owned by Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University freshman who committed suicide in 2010 after a video of him kissing another man was posted on the Internet.  In all, Gold has 5,000 items stored in a climate-controlled warehouse in Forestville. He said there would be many more if being gay weren’t considered taboo by the families of early activists; once they passed away, many of their families tossed the artifacts. He thinks that even the original sign from the Stonewall Inn has been discarded. “So much of our history is unfortunately thrown out,” he said.
The Washington Post reports that Gold envisions a large multi-use complex that would include "a performing arts theater, a cafe, offices and a research center." A foundation has been established and donors are being sought.

Family Research Council vice president Peter Sprigg, who has called for the recriminalization of homosexuality and the "exporting" of American gays, says his hate group will not oppose the museum so long as no government funding is provided.  Meanwhile almost every other American minority has a federally-supported museum.

Visit the website for the National LGBT Museum.

Make donations here.

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