ST. LOUIS – The closet is a formidable foe when it comes to local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history. Indeed for the most part our stories remain hidden—having gone largely unrecorded and ignored.
What’s more—the diaries, scrapbooks and mementos of generations of LGBT elders have frequently been tossed away by homophobic family members or short-sighted friends.
“Much of gay history lies in shallow bachelors’ graves,” wrote Paul Monette.
Realizing the dearth of LGBT History, and in particular, St. Louis LGBT History, the St. Louis Gay History Project was launched in 2008. What started out as a website has turned into a community-wide effort to record and put into digital form St. Louis’ LGBT stories, pictures, and historical treasures.
The Project has also become the collecting arm for the St. Louis Lesbian and Gay Archives at UMSL which was founded in 1987 by the late Bill Cordes and others.
“The Project relies on the St. Louis LGBT community to help provide important information and to bridge the generations and contribute to the archives they are building,” they explain.
The first St. Louis LGBT History Treasure Drive was held in October 2010 at Bad Dog where dozens of community members donated hundreds of items. Treasures garnered ranged from rare documents related to St. Louis’ first official LGBT Pride event in 1980 to myriad photographs, pins and publications.
On Sunday, March 27, 2011 The Project will host its second LGBT History Treasure Drive: Preserving Our Past, Enriching Our Future, at Novak’s Bar and Grill (4121 Manchester) from 1-5p.m.
“We're all sitting on little pieces of our LGBT history—so dig through your junk drawers, canvass that basement and rifle through the proverbial closet,”
reads the invite.
Organizers Steven Brawley and Colin Murphy are especially interested in pre-1990 items, such as:
*Pictures, Home Movies/Videos, Artwork
*Newspapers, Magazines, Articles
*Diaries, Journals, Scrapbooks
*Buttons, Pins, Posters, Fliers, T-Shirts
*Matchbooks, Bar Memorabilia
*Organizational/Non Profit Materials
*St. Louis Pridefest Memorabilia
You can either donate materials or there will be digital cameras and scanners on site to copy items folks wish to keep.
“Make sure to drop by and help to preserve our stories and history for the next generation.”
There will also be a display of historical St. Louis LGBT items, including vintage bar ads, t-shirts and buttons throughout the event.
For more info check out www.stlouisgayhistory.com OR call 314-740-0298 OR check out the Treasure Drive Facebook Event.