Discovering LGBTQ History

Featured documents reflecting the history of American lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women from 1778 to the present. Most pins come from "Discovering LGBTQ History" a Tumblr blog that is a project of Stonewall@NARA, the National Archives LGBTQ employee affinity group.
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Bayard Rustin was a prolific activist and the success of the March on Washington was credited to his planning. This portrait of Rustin was taken on April 5, 1968, during a meeting between civil rights leaders and President Lyndon B. Johnson after King was assassinated.  His achievements could have made him a household name, but his open homosexuality led organizations to keep him in the background.

Bayard Rustin was a prolific activist and the success of the March on Washington was credited to his planning. This portrait of Rustin was taken on April 5, 1968, during a meeting between civil rights leaders and President Lyndon B. Johnson after King was assassinated. His achievements could have made him a household name, but his open homosexuality led organizations to keep him in the background.

When Capt. George Raines testified before the committee, he submitted this diagram, which he had used to teach his psychiatry students at Georgetown University. Raines believed that homosexuality was "contained to some degree in all personalities." (Records of the U.S. Senate, RG 46)

When Capt. George Raines testified before the committee, he submitted this diagram, which he had used to teach his psychiatry students at Georgetown University. Raines believed that homosexuality was "contained to some degree in all personalities." (Records of the U.S. Senate, RG 46)

An excerpt from the Commerce Department's response to the Hoey committtee. Many employees confronted with charges of homosexuality chose to resign. (Records of the U.S. Senate, RG 46)

An excerpt from the Commerce Department's response to the Hoey committtee. Many employees confronted with charges of homosexuality chose to resign. (Records of the U.S. Senate, RG 46)

Senators Kenneth Wherry (pictured at left) and J. Lister Hill conducted the first congressional investigation into homosexuality in teh federal workforce. (U.S. Senate Historical Office)

Senators Kenneth Wherry (pictured at left) and J. Lister Hill conducted the first congressional investigation into homosexuality in teh federal workforce. (U.S. Senate Historical Office)

On December 15, 1950, the Hoey committee released this report, concluding that homosexuals were "unsuitable for employment in the Federal Government" and constituted "security risks in positions of public trust." (Records of the U.S. Senate, RG 46)

On December 15, 1950, the Hoey committee released this report, concluding that homosexuals were "unsuitable for employment in the Federal Government" and constituted "security risks in positions of public trust." (Records of the U.S. Senate, RG 46)

In 1806, Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant met in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. A year later they moved to Weybridge, Vermont and settled into a house near Sylvia’s brother. They spent the next 45 years of their lives together.  They appear together on the 1850 federal census for Weybridge, Vermont.

In 1806, Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant met in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. A year later they moved to Weybridge, Vermont and settled into a house near Sylvia’s brother. They spent the next 45 years of their lives together. They appear together on the 1850 federal census for Weybridge, Vermont.

On April 10, 1916, the U.S. Immigration Bureau issued a warrant for Jim’s arrest on the grounds that, prior to emigrating, he and George had committed a crime of “moral turpitude,” involving “an unnatural, immoral act.” George was arrested on the same charge.   U.S. officials ruled that this violated American immigration law and ordered their immediate deportation.During Jim’s interrogation he was asked if George had ever bought him a ring. He replied yes. The inscription: "Love finds its…

On April 10, 1916, the U.S. Immigration Bureau issued a warrant for Jim’s arrest on the grounds that, prior to emigrating, he and George had committed a crime of “moral turpitude,” involving “an unnatural, immoral act.” George was arrested on the same charge. U.S. officials ruled that this violated American immigration law and ordered their immediate deportation.During Jim’s interrogation he was asked if George had ever bought him a ring. He replied yes. The inscription: "Love finds its…

In March 1915, George McBurney lived in Toronto and Jim South lived in Detroit. Both were Canadians. Although separated by distance, their feelings for each were quite strong.

In March 1915, George McBurney lived in Toronto and Jim South lived in Detroit. Both were Canadians. Although separated by distance, their feelings for each were quite strong.

Gladys Bentley, born in Philadelphia in 1907, left home for New York at the age of 16. She became a highly successful blues singer and pianist, often performing in tuxedos. As a lesbian, she found relative tolerance in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance.  She is listed here on the 1930 census as living at 155 West 133rd Street in Manhattan. Bentley listed "actor" as her profession.

Gladys Bentley, born in Philadelphia in 1907, left home for New York at the age of 16. She became a highly successful blues singer and pianist, often performing in tuxedos. As a lesbian, she found relative tolerance in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance. She is listed here on the 1930 census as living at 155 West 133rd Street in Manhattan. Bentley listed "actor" as her profession.

Tune in to the livestream on July 16, 9:30 am CT! http://bit.ly/29wJHZY

Tune in to the livestream on July 16, 9:30 am CT! http://bit.ly/29wJHZY

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