Theme Study Contents
LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History is a publication of the National Park Foundation for the National Park Service and funded by the Gill Foundation. Each chapter is written and peer-reviewed by experts in LGBTQ Studies. For more information on the theme study, please read the LGBTQ Theme Study Fact Sheet. To preview all chapters at once, visit the series home page.
Front Matter [PDF 1.6 MB]
Introduction: The chapters in the Introduction section give context to the rest of the theme study. This is the context for the contexts, as it were. This section gives background on the LGBTQ Heritage Initiative, defines terms commonly used throughout the theme study, provides information on how the theme study fits in within the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks programs, and provides a broad social history of LGBTQ in America. What you read in this introductory section will resonate throughout the rest of the theme study.
- Chapter 1: Prologue: Why LGBTQ Historic Sites Matter by Mark Meinke
- Chapter 2: Introduction to the LGBTQ Heritage Initiative Theme Study by Megan E. Springate
- Chapter 3: Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History in the United States by Leisa Meyer and Helis Sikk
Preserving LGBTQ History: The chapters in this section provide a history of archival and architectural preservation of LGBTQ history in the United States. An archeological context for LGBTQ sites looks forward, providing a new avenue for preservation and interpretation. This LGBTQ history may remain hidden just under the ground surface, even when buildings and structures have been demolished.
- Chapter 4: The History of Queer History: One Hundred Years of the Search for Shared Heritage by Gerard Koskovich
- Chapter 5: The Preservation of LGBTQ Heritage by Gail Dubrow
- Chapter 6: LGBTQ Archeological Context by Megan E. Springate
Inclusive Stories: Much of the existing scholarship on LGBTQ history in America focuses on white, middle-class, largely male, urban communities. These are important histories, but for structural and cultural reasons, they have become the main story (dominant narrative) that people think about when they think about LGBTQ history. Authors of the theme study were asked specifically to broaden their narrative to include other communities that fall under the LGBTQ umbrella. Inclusion, however, isn’t enough to describe the geographic, economic, legal, and other cultural factors that shaped these diverse histories. In response, we commissioned chapters providing broad historical contexts specifically for two-spirit, transgender, Latino/a, African American, and Asian American communities (as well as those who live in Rural areas, presented in the Places section of the theme study). These chapters, read in concert with the chapter on Intersectionality, serve as examples of how limiting an exclusive master narrative is and how rich a multi-faceted narrative is when considering the full history of the United States.
- Chapter 7: A Note about Intersectionality by Megan E. Springate
- Chapter 8: Making Bisexuals Visible by Loraine Hutchins
- Chapter 9: Sexual and Gender Diversity in Native America and the Pacific Islands by Will Roscoe
- Chapter 10: Transgender History in the US and the Places that Matter by Susan Stryker
- Chapter 11: Breathing Fire: Remembering Asian Pacific American Activism in Queer History by Amy Sueyoshi
- Chapter 12: Latina/o Gender and Sexuality by Deena J. González and Ellie D. Hernandez
- Chapter 13: “Where We Could Be Ourselves”: African American LGBTQ Historic Places and Why They Matter by Jeffrey A. Harris
Themes: The chapters in this section take themes as their starting points. They explore different aspects of LGBTQ history and heritage, tying them to specific places across the country.
- Chapter 14: LGBTQ Spaces and Places by Jen Jack Gieseking
- Chapter 15: Making Community: The Places and Spaces of LGBTQ Collective Identity Formation by Christina B. Hanhardt
- Chapter 16: LGBTQ Business and Commerce by David K. Johnson
- Chapter 17: Sex, Love, and Relationships by Tracy Baim
- Chapter 18: LGBTQ Civil Rights in America by Megan E. Springate
- Chapter 19: Historical Landmarks and Landscapes of LGBTQ Law by Marc Stein
- Chapter 20: LGBTQ Military Service by Steve Estes
- Chapter 21: Struggles in Body and Spirit: Religion and LGBTQ People in US History by Drew Bourn
- Chapter 22: LGBTQ and Health by Katie Batza
- Chapter 23: LGBTQ Art and Artists by Tara Burk
- Chapter 24: LGBTQ Sport and Leisure by Katherine Schweighofer
Places: Unlike the Themes section of the theme study, this Places section looks at LGBTQ history and heritage at specific locations across the United States. While a broad LGBTQ American history is presented in the Introduction section, these chapters document the regional, and often quite different, histories across the country. In addition to New York City and San Francisco, often considered the epicenters of LGBTQ experience, the queer histories of Chicago, Miami, and Reno are also presented. In addition, a chapter on rural LGBTQ heritage challenges the oft-implied assumption that LGBTQ history is an urban one. Finally, an archaeological context describes ways of accessing and thinking about important LGBTQ history that may remain hidden just under the ground surface, even when buildings and structures have been demolished.
- Chapter 25: San Francisco: Placing LGBTQ Histories in the City by the Bay by Donna J. Graves and Shayne E. Watson
- Chapter 26: Preservation of LGBTQ Historic & Cultural Sites – A New York City Perspective by Jay Shockley
- Chapter 27: Locating Miami’s Queer History by Julio Capó, Jr.
- Chapter 28: Queerest Little City in the World: LGBTQ Reno by John Jeffrey Auer IV
- Chapter 29: Chicago: Queer Histories at the Crossroads of America by Jessica Herczeg-Konecny
Legacy: People engage with history in many ways, not just through reading books and reports. The chapters in this section are designed as resources for NPS interpreters, museum staff, teachers, professors, parents, and others who do applied history work and who wish to incorporate LGBTQ history and heritage into their programs, lessons, exhibits, and courses.
- Chapter 30: Nominating LGBTQ Places to the National Register of Historic Places and as National Historic Landmarks: An Introduction by Megan E. Springate and Caridad de la Vega
- Chapter 31: Interpreting LGBTQ Historic Sites by Susan Ferentinos
- Chapter 32: Teaching LGBTQ History and Heritage by Leila J. Rupp
Appendix A: Places Identified in the Text [PDF 2.3 MB]
Index [PDF 1.7 MB]