National Park Service Begins LGBT Heritage Initiative


The LGBT community’s journey toward equality will know be historically preserved and marked by places chosen by the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. The National Park Service, along with the Gill Foundation, announced today a new LGBT Heritage Initiative and theme study. The initiative was announced at the historic Stonewall Inn, which was made a national historic landmark in 2000, in New York City. The initiative aims at making significant places and people of LGBT history part of the national narrative.

The theme study, led by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, will explore contributions of the LGBT community to U.S. history. The committee will also help identify sites across the nation that are part of the LGBT movement, community and history. Those places will then be considered for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, designation as National Historic Landmarks or consideration as national monuments.

San Francisco scholar Gerard Koskovich, who will be part of the theme study, explains that LGBT history dates back decades before the famous Stonewall riots. “When you consider that until the 1970s the federal government was still rallying around persecuting LGBTQ people and devoted to punishing us, arresting us and excluding us, that we now see after a 40- or 50-year process a federal government saying that we are now part of the stories that deserve to be told and protected is really remarkable," Koskovich said in an interview with the Associated Press.