LGBTQ Heritage Introduction

This website highlights projects undertaken by National Park Service parks and programs with a commitment to telling the full and inclusive history of America. Presented here are ways that we have recognized and interpreted sites of LGBTQ heritage. You will also find resources to help educate and inspire others.

The history of Civil Rights underscores a large part of the American experience. The National Park Service is proud to be a part of this continuing legacy of freedom and justice. The National Park Service highlights important national stories with partners across the United States. Rigorous research, interpretation, and collaboration with the American public support many notable sites. These include places and stories important to the continuing legacy of American civil rights.

Identities and communities are based in historical context. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) identities are personal and have shifted over time. Understanding this, we acknowledge LGBTQ citizens. We strive to use terms that are recognizable today. It is not our intention to exclude those who could not, or would not, have used them. For example, many have had the word "queer" used against them as an insult. Many have had this accompanied by physical violence. In the 1990s, individuals and groups like Queer Nation, who played an important role in American history, reclaimed queer as a word of power and identity.

We have added queer as part of LGBTQ with the intention to be inclusive. We recognize LGBTQ citizens’ contributions to American life, culture, and history. We appreciate efforts to create a safe social and political place in American society. The NPS explores ways that we can preserve and interpret this history for future generations.

Last updated: March 15, 2016