More LGBT historical sites to be considered for national status
This study is part of a 2014 campaign by the National Park Service to consider LGBT heritage sites, coming in the wake of the creation of the Stonewall National Monument last June.
In relation to this, the city of San Francisco will look through another recently released report on the LGBT culture and history of their city to assess sites worthy of recognition and preservation.
Campaign for diversity: LGBT historical sites
The National Park Service came out with their new study last October detailing historic sites that are important to LGBT history.
The study was done by the National Park Foundation with funding from the Gill Foundation, a nonprofit organization focusing on LGBT equity.
Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell said this study would reverse the “under-representation of stories and places associated with LGBT communities in the complicated and diverse history of America.”
To create more diverse national parks, the Obama administration had pushed for a number of “theme studies” for the National Park Services.
These “theme studies” looked into the history of women, Latinos, and Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. Prior studies had been done on Native American and African-American history sites.
“As America’s storyteller, the National Park Service is working to identify those places across the country that tell that story of the LGBTQ experience in America,” said Jeremy Barnum, spokesperson for the National Park Service.
LGBT historical sites in San Francisco
Meanwhile, historians– with the help of the GLBT Historical Society– came up with “a citywide historic context statement” of the LGBT history in San Francisco from the 19th century through the 1980s.
Once reviewed and approved, the statement will be used for community history advocates and city planners not only to identify but also to mark LGBT historic places in San Francisco
“It’s really important that LGBT people begin to have a sense of place-based history and that we begin to identify what places can tell parts of our story in a meaningful way,” said Gerard Koskovich, one of the founders of the San Francisco GLBT Historical Society.
Donna Graves– a Berkeley public historian who helped co-write the report “San Francisco’s Historic Context Statement for LGBTQ History”– said the city has “been an epicenter for queer political, social and cultural organizing, and it was one of the early places to have a large enough and visible enough community.”
“In the 1940s and 1950s, it became a magnet. It’s been a place of pilgrimage, a draw for many people who could not be themselves in the places they grew up. Those people created a new vision for what life could be,” Graves said.
Noted sites in the city were the Castro Camera (Harvey Milk’s home and campaign headquarters), the Twin Peaks bar at 17th and Market Streets (the first LGBT bar with full-length open plate glass windows), and the Jose Theater (which first housed the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt), and the Black Cat Cafe at 701 Montgomery St.