In May of 2014, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced a new theme study as part of the National Park Service Heritage Initiative to identify places and events associated with the story of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Americans for inclusion in the parks and programs of the agency.
The goals of the LGBTQ heritage initiative include:
Using interactive Google Maps, DHR's Virginia LGBTQ Heritage Map allows visitors to see historic LGBTQ-affiliated places and to share location information about historic sites via social media. The first phase of mapping focused on greater Richmond. The map is a work-in-progress with new locations added as new information becomes available.
Additionally, the documents and links below are provided to assist with forwarding Virginia's LGBTQ Heritage initiative, a deliberative multi-year, ongoing effort.
Timeline of LGBT History in Virginia and the United States: This timeline begins with the earliest recorded event associated with LGBTQ heritage in colonial Virginia and continues through the early 21st century. The timeline covers events that were national in scope that affected Virginia’s LGBTQ history as well as events, places, and people specific to the Commonwealth.
Chronology of Laws and Legal Cases Affecting LGBTQ Rights: This chronology provides highlights of laws that affected LGBTQ rights under English law and during Virginia’s colonial era, but focuses on the 20th- and 21st-century laws and legal decisions that have shaped LGBTQ rights up to 2015, including changing concepts of permissible marital relationships. Laws and legal decisions that affected LGBTQ rights nationally are included, as well as those specific to Virginia.
Virginia Persons of Note in LGBTQ History: During the summer of 2015, VCU student Emily Buss compiled a list of persons associated with Virginia’s LGBTQ heritage from the 19th century to the early 21st century. A brief biographical note explains each individual’s contributions. A bibliography of sources used to compile this information is provided at the end of the document.
Virginia Places Associated with LGBTQ Heritage: This list combines preliminary research performed by the National Park Service and follow-up research by VCU student Emily Buss focusing on the Richmond area. The list is a work-in-progress with new locations being added periodically.
National Park Service’s LGBTQ Heritage Initiative: In 2014, the National Park Service announced its new LGBTQ Heritage Initiative to explore how the legacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals can be recognized, preserved, and interpreted for future generations. Additional information is available on the National Park Service’s website, including a national heritage theme study, a list of places associated with LGBTQ heritage across the country, and how the public can get involved in this multi-year project.