We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re in the Public Record Exhibit

the US White House light up from the outside with different color lights

Image: Ted Eytan

We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re in the Public Record Exhibit
September 17 – November 2, 2018
Geisel Library, Main Floor, East Wing

 

The United States government provides a wealth of primary sources that can be used to document our nation’s stance on many social movements.  What does the public record say about LGBTQ life?

Kelly Smith, Librarian for U.S. and San Diego Government Information, and Urban Studies & Planning, and Environmental Planning at UC San Diego, and Jesse Silva, Librarian for Federal and State Government Information, Political Science, Public Policy and Legal Studies at UC Berkeley, decided to delve into the public record to research this topic. This exhibit showcases selected documents pertaining to LGBTQ history and highlights aspects of LGBTQ life that have been impacted by actions of federal, state, and local governments. History shows that acceptance of LGBTQ people swings back and forth, and LGBTQ communities have responded by working to push the government to be inclusive of all genders and sexual orientations. Like many social movements, the struggle is ongoing.

Members of the LGBTQ community hold diverse viewpoints on, and continue to discuss, many of the subjects covered in this exhibit. For instance, while recognition of same-sex marriage is seen as a victory by many, others see this decision as problematic because they view marriage as assimilation into heteronormative culture.

Check out the accompanying guide, which highlights a number of primary sources documenting the U.S. federal government’s stance on issues related to the LGBTQ movement from the 1800s to the present day. These documents illustrate that our government’s policies toward LGBTQ people have evolved greatly over the years and continue to change – though not always for the better. This guide lists a number of related government documents, including links to those that are freely available online. The authors envision this as a living guide and intend to update it as new relevant resources become available.

Taken as a whole, many of the materials in the exhibit shed light on the larger context of LGBTQ community through time — highlighting that the fight for equal treatment has not taken a linear path, marked by continuous progress.

Special thanks to the UC Berkeley Library LGBTQ History Exhibit Committee for sharing their resources.

For more information on the exhibit, please contact Kelly Smith, k5smith@ucsd.edu.

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