2014 has come and gone, now what?

2Barbie Hull Photography014 was a big year, full of research, travel, and more importantly connecting communities in museums. Nicole and I are going to carry on the work of QTM but before we are face to face with 2015, here is a recap of Revealing Queer:

  • Exhibition opened 2/14/2014
  • King County Executive Dow Constantine declared 2/14 King County’s Official LGBTQ History Day
  • RQ supported a 17 % Growth in MOHAIs digital communication channels, including 2,405 new followers
    • On MOHAI’s Facebook there was an increase of 1,014 followers or 14%
    • On MOHAI’s Twitter there was an increase of 1,007 followers or 16%, with 376.4k impressions.
        • 612 favorites
        • 3% average engagement
        • 204 Tweets about Revealing Queer
        • @MOHAI shared 31 tweets w/ #RevealingQueer
        • 45 total Favorites & 49 Retweets
    • On MOHAI’s Instagram there was an increase of 384 followers or 139%
      • 48 posts using #RevealingQueer
      • MOHAI posted 9 photos related to Revealing Queer on Instagram
    • During the run of the exhibition MOHAI launched a collections initiative to build their LGBTQ collections resulting inBarbie Hull Photography
      • An increased of their 3-d objects from 284 to 345 objects
      • All of the exhibition information went into the object records to advance the research of Northwest LGBTQ histories
      • MOHAI continues to look for LGBTQ related objects as they continue to research their collection
    • Public programs were incorporated into MOHAI’s educational offerings welcoming in over 1,000 people for the LGBTQ specific events, including:
      • Member Preview and Opening Night Celebration, February 2014
      • History Café—LGBTQ Seattle, February 2014
      • Safe Spaces Training, April 2014
      • American Alliance of Museums Onsight Insight—Insider’s Look at the Queering the Museum Project, May 2014
      • Revealing Queer Walking Tour: A History of Queering up [Capitol] Hill, June 2014
      • Revealing Queer Walking Tour: “The Queen City Comes Out”: A Walking Tour of Early, Queer Pioneer Square, June 2014
      • Pride Family Day, June 2014
    • MOHAI continues to build their relationships with LGBTQ communities by hosting Queer theme public programs with their History Café program, on February 19th MOHAI will host a History Café titled The Impact of HIV/AIDS in Seattle.

In reflection the partnership between MOHAI and QTM produced an exhibition that was well received, built capacity for MOHAI, and a benefit for the LGBTQ communities.


So now what?

Over the last year Nicole and I took a year off to gather our thoughts, write them down, and put them out there in the world. We have both been working to ensure that our work is useful to the field. In an attempt to continue our work we have decided to make use of this website as a resource to continue understanding how museums are engaging with Queer communities, ideas of other, intersectional approaches to the field, as well as emerging research addressing non-normative ideas of identity. This website will likely develop over time into more than a blog, but also into a forum for people to engage with these ideas. The 2015 comeback will allow this website to be useful for professionals across the world, and will grow to include the voices of a multitude of professionals. We invite you to share with us work that engages LGBTQ audiences; together we can create a more comprehensive understanding of the field and continue to advance LGBTQ engagement in museums.

Email us at queeringthemuseum@gmail.com

The Road to Revealing Queer

The pathway to developing the Revealing Queer exhibit was recently featured on the Incluseum blog.

Check out these posts for an interview with Curator Erin Bailey (Part 1 and Part 2) and some behind the scenes information about the development of the Digital Storytelling Workshop with Nicole Robert.

Revealing Queer opens February 14th!

Westlake Rally 1977-99.2.14

Protesters at a Westlake Rally, Seattle, 1977
Credit: Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project

Over the past year and a half curator Erin Bailey has collaborated with a Community Advisory Committee to develop Revealing Queer, an exhibition that explores the last 40 years of regional LGBTQ histories. The exhibition looks at legal reform, activism, community organizations and exceptional individuals that highlight the breadth of people and events that shape the diverse LGBTQ communities in the region. 

Using a Community Advisory Committee is not a new model, the Wing Luke Museum has mastered the process and tells a multitude of complicated histories in beautifully touching exhibitions. Queering the Museum project adopted the model to create an advisory committee that supported our symposium in 2012, the digital storytelling workshop and the Revealing Queer exhibition. This committee supported the exhibition by shaping the content, editing text, connecting us with objects and spreading the word. Our committee was dedicated to the process and tirelessly worked on this exhibition over the last year and a half. Without them the exhibition would simply not exist. We intentionally approached LGBTQ groups in the region to join the committee in October of 2011, finalizing the list early 2012. The organizations that accepted our offer include, API ChayaEntre Hermanos, Gay City Health Project, Ingersoll Gender CenterGender Alliance of the South SoundLily Divine ProductionsNorthwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum ProjectOasis Youth Center, Puget Sound – Old Lesbians Organizing for ChangeQueer Youth SpaceRainbow CenterSeattle Gay News and the University of Washington.

Revealing Queer opens on February 14, 2014 with a bang! Opening Night Celebrations start at 7 pm, come and groove to DJ SassyBlack (Cat of THEESatisfaction), watch queer burlesque performed my Lily Divine of Lily Divine Productions and Pidgeon Von Tramp of Pidgeon Coop Productions, play gay bingo hosted by Mama Tits, and join gallery tours led by Erin Bailey, Nicole RobertGeorge Bakan and Larry Knopp. Throughout the night Queering the Museum’s Digital Storytelling workshop films will be screened.

Interested? Can’t wait to go? Us too! Tickets are available here.  The ticket prices includes access to all of MOHAI’s exhibitions, including Drawn to Seattle and MOHAI’s permanent exhibitions.

RQ invitation

Following the opening join us on February 20th for a History Cafe that explores community history projects that are helping to save our histories. 

We can’t thank everyone who helped make this exhibit enough.  Through loaning objects, time and knowledge, Revealing Queer is truly a collective effort.

See you on the 14th!

Sistah Sinema Screening Digital Stories

We are excited to share that Sistah Sinema will be screening two of the digital stories created at the QTM workshop!  Sistah Sinema’s theme for their Nov. 30th event in Seattle is “Celebrating the Stories of Native American Queer Women.”   In a series of film shorts, the narratives of Dahlia Blackthorn and Jacque Larrainzar will be featured.  Both Jacque and Dahlia are QTM film makers and will be present at the Seattle screening to participate in a discussion of the films shown that night.  Learn more about the event here.  Hope to see you there!

Names, dates, oh my!

QTM curator Erin Bailey has been working round the clock with the MOHAI team and the Community Advisory Committee to nail down the logistics of the exhibition. We have come a long way from submitting our proposal to MOHAI just over a year ago and are still going full speed ahead!

First off we are excited to announce that,  with the help of the CAC, we have named the upcoming QTM exhibition. The exhibition is now going by the name Revealing Queer. Pretty chic or at least we think so.

We are still thinking about a tag line to accompany the exhibition, if you have any suggestions let us know! 

Our next order of business is the opening date, which is February 14, 2014. The exhibition will close in the beginning of July 2014, a nice long exhibition!

These are two critical steps that every exhibition must go through and we couldn’t be more thankful to the great team at MOHAI and our dedicated CAC.

Symposium Program

We are excited to announce the program for the upcoming Queering the History Museum Symposium.   Please join us on June 8th, from 10 am to 5 pm, at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle for the following presentations.  Registration opens at 9:45 am.

10:15 am to 10:30 am Opening Remarks

Leonard Garfield, Executive Director, Museum of History and Industry

10:30 am to 11:30 am Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: A Witness to History: Recording the Modern LGBT Movement from the Inside OUT Social Outreach Seattle
Presenters: Shaun Knittel, Founder and President, Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea) and Associate Editor, Seattle Gay News; Dru Dinero, SOSea Video Production Director, Founder and President, Visual Affairs

Session 2: Imperial Theme Park or Site of Resistance? The Case of The GLBT History Museum – GLBT History Museum San Francisco
Presenters: Gerard Koskovich, Curator and Independent Scholar;  Don Romesburg, Curator and Assoc. Professor at Sonoma State University;  Amy Sueyoshi, Curator and Assoc. Dean at San Francisco State University

11:45 am to 12:45 pm Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Narrating Our Own Tales: A Queer Digital Storytelling Project  QTM Digital Storytelling Workshop Films and Filmmakers Panel
Presenters: Filmmakers– Isis Asare, Mian Carvin, Petra Davis, Margaret Elisabeth, Fia Gibbs, Caleb Hernandez, Jourdan Keith, Jacque Larrainzar; Project Coordinator–Nicole Robert

Session 2: Supporting Our History: A Foundation’s Role in Preserving Individual and Collective LGBTQ Histories Pride Foundation
Presenter: Gunner Scott, Director of Programs for the Pride Foundation

12:45 pm to 1:45 pm Lunch Break

Drop in Revealing Queer Exhibition Plan Review

1:45 pm to 2:45 pm Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Snapshots and Snippets: Words of Wisdom Snatched from Oral Herstories of our Lesbian Foremothers Puget Sound-Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (PS-OLOC)
Presenters: Members of the Queer Crone Coordinating Council of PS-OLOC–Deirdre Knowles, Lin Simpson, Kathleen Prezbindowski, Suzanne Weinheimer, Gloria Stancich, Aganita Varkentine, Casey Hannan, Jolly Sue Baker

Session 2: Queer Histories in MOHAI’s Exhibits
Presenter: Curt Fischer, Community historian

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm Keynote Presentation

Doing It For Ourselves: Queer Museology Outside the Museum – Pop Up Museum of Queer History
Presenter: Hugh Ryan, Founding Director – The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History

4:30 pm to 4:50 pm Closing Remarks

5:00 pm to 6:30 pm Reception

We will conclude the evening with a celebratory reception from 5 pm to 6:30 pm on the historic steam ship Virginia V with a performance by Captain Smartypants from the Seattle Men’s  Chorus.  Food and drinks will be available.

Tickets are available now on the MOHAI website.  Hope to see you there!

*Please note: Program schedule is subject to change.

Digital Storytelling Success!

In April, our first group of 8 queer-identified individuals participated in a 4 day Digital Storytelling Workshop.  We asked them to work hard and they stepped up to the task!  By the end of the Workshop, they created scripts about important events in their lives, designed images and audio-tracks to enliven those scripts and recorded their own voices to narrate the story.  The results are creative and powerful messages representing very personal experiences of queer lives.  We are so grateful to our storytellers for sharing their powerful stories.  We will screen all eight 4 minute videos at the Queering the History Museum Symposium on June 8th.  Watch our website for future opportunities to view their stories in -person and online.

Thank you to Lily Divine Productions, Angelica Macklin, Rebecca Simms and Ron Krabill for your support of this project.  Big thanks to our Community Advisory Committee and the participants themselves.


Pictured are our Digital Storytellers: Isis Asare, Mian Carvin, Margaret Elisabeth, Jacque Larrainzar, Fia Gibbs, Petra Davis, Caleb Hernandez and Jourdan Keith.

History Makers

As we continue working with the Community Advisory Committee and MOHAI, we are diving into the Queer history of the Puget Sound searching archives and collections for our histories. Most recently we found un-catalogued and never before seen negatives in MOHAI’s collection. These negatives include a variety of topics such as ACT UP! marches, individual community members and one of the earliest celebrations of National Coming Out Day in Seattle. These are just the tip of the iceberg within the collections in and around the Puget Sound and we are excited to continue searching for our shared history.

As we keep digging and developing the exhibition we are looking for suggestions of who our “History Makers” are and who should be considered for inclusion in the exhibition. Our history is huge and our “History Makers” are many, while all of these individuals have made invaluable contributions to the Puget Sound the exhibition only addresses the last 40 years. However, if the “History Maker” falls outside of the last 40 years tell us anyways and we can find out more info about them! Together we can share our histories!

If you have ideas please leave a comment here with who is your “History Maker,” a few sentences why or email us at queeringthemuseum@gmail.com with “History Makers” in the subject line.

We look forward to seeing who you think is a “History Maker.”

Submit a Proposal for Queering the History Museum Symposium

The Queering the History Museum Symposium is coming up fast!  Tickets for the June 8, 2013 event at the Museum of History and Industry are already on sale here!

Currently we are asking community members, history enthusiasts, activists, artists, academics and professionals who are interested in sharing their knowledge and passion about representation, museums, history or any combination of these topics to lead sessions at the symposium. All the details about the proposals are included in the Request for Proposals.

Submissions must be received by May 1, 2013.  Send us your great ideas at queeringthemuseum@gmail.com.  We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Thank you Humanities Washington!

Recently QTM was honored by Humanities Washington with an Opportunity Grant to support our Queering the History Museum symposium on June 8. This grant came just in the nick of time for the planning and we are thrilled to see what we can do with this funding!

A huge thank you goes out to Humanities Washington and MOHAI for all their support!

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