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LGBTQ History

The story behind the photograph: Gay Dads Kissing, 1983

A place at the park: LGBTQ+ inclusion and skateboarding

The most radical thing about Stonewall wasn’t the uprising

Reading the rainbow: The origins of the pride symbol

Multiple rainbows flag items

Illegal to be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall

In June 1969, LGBTQ+ community members resisted a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a bar in lower Manhattan. The museum will mark this 50th anniversary with a display featuring objects from its collections that put the history of that memorable event within a larger and longer experience of being gay.

See the objects featured in the display on the companion website.

About the Artifact Walls

The history of getting the gay out

Cartoon drawing of a tangled ball of yarn with emotions such as “anxiety” and “rage” tangled up

Smithsonian Receives Matthew Shepard Collection

The museum will receive a donation of papers and personal objects from the parents of Matthew Shepard, a young, gay college student who died of severe injuries following a vicious attack in 1998 when he was a student at the University of Wyoming.

Matt Shepard objects in our collection remind us of the familiarity of an LGBTQ icon

File of condolence letters

Queer coins: LGBTQ rulers through history

Silver coin with Queen Cristina of Sweden