September 09, 2007

GLBT History Represented at the Smithsonian Museum

I thought this article from the Washington Post was interesting; GLBT activist history is officially part of the mainstream, being recognized as part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.

The obvious question gets the obvious answer: Of course Frank Kameny, a pioneer of the gay rights movement, had no inkling that the protest signs he carried more than 40 years ago would end up in the Smithsonian. But there they are, hand-lettered, with little stains from their staples discoloring the faded white cardboard. Two of them, plus three campaign buttons, are now in the same case as Joe Louis's boxing gloves, near the glass closet that holds Jackie Kennedy's inaugural gown and in the same shrinelike exhibit known as "Treasures of American History" that also has Thomas Jefferson's writing desk and the ruby-red slippers that Dorothy wore on her way to meet the Wizard.

It was a coincidence, but a fortunate one, that a man who trained as an astronomer, who earned a PhD from Harvard before he was fired by the government in 1957 for being gay, was honored amid rockets and planes and depictions of the solar system.

Check out the Post story to read more about Kameny's engagement and struggle in the battle for GLBT equality. His determination and preserverance is an example to activists today.

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