America will soon have a museum dedicated to LGBTQ+ history.
The American LGBTQ+ Museum will be housed in a planned expansion of the New-York Historical Society and Library. The museum will exhibit artifacts and memorabilia associated with the gay civil rights movement, detailing events like the Stonewall uprising and the HIV/AIDS crisis. It will also include an archive dedicated to tennis star and gay icon, Billie Jean King.
According to president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society Louise Mirrer, the organization is working with LGBTQ+ organizations across the country to acquire additional material for the museum. “Just news of the space has occasioned outreach from people who have collections,” Mirrer told TimeOut New York.
Construction on the 70,000+-square foot expansion of the New-York Historical Society and Library is scheduled to begin next year. The LGBTQ+ Museum, which the New York Times reports will be housed on the top floor of the expansion, is currently scheduled to open in 2024. It will be the city’s first museum devoted to LGBTQ+ history and culture.
The museum was first proposed in 2017 as a means of preserving LGBTQ+ history. “Suddenly we’ve reached this moment, a tipping point where more and more people are saying, ‘We better record this history, integrate it and celebrate it before we lose it,” museum board chair Richard Burns told the Times. “And so, in 2017, in January, a group of us got together in a living room and began having this conversation.”
The New-York Historical Society already possesses a rich collection of material dedicated to telling the stories of LGBTQ+ individuals and culture. Currently, the exhibit “Safe/Haven” chronicles life on Fire Island’s Cherry Grove in the pre-Stonewall days when the town was an enclave for gay, lesbian, and queer individuals.