Queer history has been public from the start. But the ways we have have remembered the queer past have expanded and changed over time. Are the radical democratic and liberatory commitments that animated early queer public history projects still operative today? How have queer public history projects shaped and responded to major economic, political, and social changes, including the “normalization” of (some forms of) gay and lesbian identity and (some) causes espoused in the name of LGBT equality, such as “marriage equality” and gay and lesbian service in the US military.
This digital project will explore the history of queer public history in several ways. First, it will archive materials associated with queer public history projects (including exhibits, illustrated lectures, collaborative oral history endeavors, and documentary films and videos). Second, it will present an interactive digital interpretation of queer public history that places projects in historical context and encourages users to explore how the objectives of queer historical projects have change over time and across categories of difference (race, class, gender identity, among others). Finally, the project might include crowd-sourcing elements, facilitating users to share archival materials related to a range of queer public history projects as well as to document their own responses to these projects. Ultimately, the project will offer tools for users to produce and share their own digital queer public histories.