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 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  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!

Be a Part of History!

We are excited to release the application to participate in our first Digital Storytelling Workshop!  

UPDATE: the application has now closed.  Thank you to all for your interest and for sharing your awesome stories.

Personal stories are the fabric of history.  The history that we recognize today is built upon the stories that make it into our historical institutions: museums, libraries and archives.  Yet, very few historical narratives include information about people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer (LGBTQ) or not straight.  LGBTQ peoples are present in every community; across racial, ethnic, economic, geographic and other social dividers–we are there.  Weaving our stories into larger historical narratives is important for ensuring that our presence and contributions are remembered and recognized.

This Digital Storytelling Workshop will give 10 participants a chance to be remembered and recognized.  Different than recording a life history, this workshop will guide participants through a process of selecting a significant life moment and constructing a visual-audio narrative about that experience.  The resulting 3 minute video will be a self-created representation of one person’s experience of being LGBTQ in the Pacific Northwest.

The videos created will be publicly screened at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) on Saturday June 8 2013.  In addition, participants will have the opportunity to contribute their videos to archive and library collections and for consideration in the queer-themed history exhibit which will open at MOHAI in 2014.

So, spread the word!  Invite your friends to apply.  Send the application to community groups that serve LGBTQ populations.  Nominate someone who you think has a great personal story.  And fill out the application yourself.

Applications must be received by Friday March 8, 2013.   Details and application are here.

Lily Divine loves us and we love them!

Reeling from our granting victory with the Pride Foundation, December showered QTM with early end of the year rewards. QTM is the latest recipient of the Lily Divine Productions community grant. Excited and overwhelmed by the granting process we celebrated, for about a month…


Shortly after the award notification QTM hosted the first Community Advisory Committee meeting, which was shortly followed by the holiday haze. The holiday haze included an incredibly queer treat, Debauchery. Debauchery is a monthly queer produced event that features the queerest Burlesque you can find. The entire event from the location, to the raffle prizes and the audience makes it super queer. This event made our queer chest space all warm and fuzzy, without a fat man in a red suit. Glitter, pasties and queers a plenty.

The most important part of this holiday tale is the giving. Lily Divine Productions produces this monthly event to raise funds that turn into grants to support local queer community groups. QTM was the humble recipients of this grant, which will be used to support our Digital Storytelling project slated forMarch of 2013, procuring the needed technology to allow individuals to capture their stories. This funding is critical and without Lily Divine, the Digital Storytelling project would not become a reality. A HUGE thank you and a high five to Lily Devine Productions from the bottom of our queer hearts. If you need a few dollars to support your queer work, attend Debauchery, check out Lily Divine Productions and apply for their community grant.

As the year comes to end QTM presses forward and resolves to make museums a bit queerer. Let us know how we can help your work, connect our work or if you just want to chat about queer things and museum things let us know.

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