National Park Service: Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender History
  • Stonewall Inn, New York City

    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Heritage Initiative

Places with LGBTQ Heritage


 

image of map of USA showing LBGT sites

 


In this map, we share our American heritage by connecting our stories with the landscape. LGBTQ history can be traced across the country, from the prehistory of North America and the Hawaiian Islands, to some of the first-established European forts, to the prominent struggles of the civil rights movement, and into the present day. Tradespeople, artists, doctors, spiritual leaders and many more make up the story of LGBTQ America. Researchers and community members are collaborating to create this important visual representation of sites that have been identified as important to LGBTQ heritage. The act of mapping helps to embed our stories in the landscape; it commits them to the structural whole of American history. Through this ongoing project, a more complete story of our heritage is coming to the fore and modern communities are benefiting from their collaboration with one another.

View Excel spreadsheet for a comprehensive list and description of sites

Taking a closer look at the map, we can see concentrations of LGBTQ heritage at certain types of sites. Courthouses where cases concerning queer rights have been adjudicated are part of the legal landscape where LGBTQ history intersects with the physical process of lawmaking.  Likewise, bars and community centers represent a common set of social sites where community members gathered to socialize, work on common causes, or simply, to be themselves. Along with historically gay neighborhoods or districts, these sites of LGBTQ significance are concentrated in larger cities across the U.S. It is important to note that increased visibility of queer heritage in more populous places does not indicate a lack of LGBTQ heritage in more rural settings.  Sites like Nourishing Space for Women outside Tucson, Arizona remind us that queer heritage is not an urban phenomenon.

Although many LGBTQ individuals made their way to urban centers, perhaps to seek more accepting communities, historic and prehistoric sites that embody queer heritage are everywhere. An excellent example is the Little Bighorn Monument in Montana.  A ledger drawing from the 1876 defeat of General Custer depicts a “male” he’emane’o or two-spirit person leading the Cheyenne victory dance.  In the same year, a Crow bote (third gender) named Osch Tisch earned the name “Finds Them and Kills Them” while fighting with U.S. allies against the Lakota, Sioux and Cheyenne at Busby, Montana.

The Map

Places on the map have been identified by a researcher or community member as important to LGBTQ history. In-depth research has not necessarily been done, so some information may be incomplete or incorrect. Inclusion on the map does not mean that the place is necessarily eligible or has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places (NR) or the National Historic Landmarks (NHL) programs.

Key:
Red Placemarks: Places listed as NRs or NHLs for their association with LGBTQ history and heritage

Yellow Placemarks: Places on the NR, including NHLs, that mention LGBTQ heritage in the nominations, but are not listed primarily for this association.

Light Blue Placemarks: Places already listed as NRs or NHLs that have LGBTQ history that is not mentioned in their nomination

Dark Blue Placemarks: Properties with LGBTQ heritage that have yet to be nominated as NRs or NHLs

Pushpins: Demolished places that were associated with LGBTQ history and heritage