Why the LGBT+ Archives Project Matters
- Queer history has been ignored for too long
- History offers us lessons and teaches us the power of activism
- Understanding our history helps us feel connected and gives us an understanding of ourselves
- An understanding of history combats stereotypes
- Our contributions have gone unrecognized. By filling in gaps in the historical record, we are reclaiming our heritage
- LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk of suicide. History provides validation and support and helps youth feel less invisible and alone
What People Are Saying
What other city has Gay Carnival and Southern Decadence, and the Up Stairs Lounge fire, not to mention all the colorful characters and interesting bars that have come and gone? Our LGBT+ history is fascinating and needs to be preserved. Thankfully, the Archives Project is doing just that.
The mission of the LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana is not just a set of goals. It is a calling shared by its members, many of whom have seen the personal archives of their own friends lost or deliberately discarded. This calling directly led to the creation of this essential organization that has already stepped in to save numerous invaluable collections that will serve historians and researchers for generations to come.
The LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana is doing a lot of important work that others are not doing. Future generations, including scholars and artists, will certainly benefit from the history the Archives Project is preserving.
Researchers a hundred years from now will thank their lucky stars for the work the Archives Project is doing today.
Louisiana has a diverse population and storied history. I’m impressed not only with the organization’s mission but also its commitment to inclusion in the execution of that mission. The Archives Project is dedicated to shining a humane light on the numerous LGBTQ+ communities and experiences in our state.
The LGBT+ Archives Project ensures the preservation of collections by connecting donors with repositories eager to care for their materials. The Archives Project also helps to defray the costs of their ongoing care through grants which have subsidized processing, and in some cases digitization.
The organization not only seeks out subjects to interview and to record their histories for future generations, but it also provides invaluable training to both undergraduate and graduate students in Louisiana and Mississippi in the methodology of oral history and research.
As part of our mission, we have had the honor of working with the Archives Project in multiple instances to document, commemorate, recognize, and celebrate Louisiana’s LGBT history. The Archives Project has positioned itself as a leader in this area, from assisting individuals considering the placement of their personal papers with area archives to rich public programming to its own grant support for various projects documenting the state’s queer history.
The LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana acknowledges the area now known as Louisiana was once home to a variety of Native Peoples, including, but not limited to, the Choctaw, Ishak, Natchez, Caddo, Chitimacha, Coushatta, Houma, and Tunica-Biloxi. We further acknowledge the enduring presence of Native Americans in Louisiana and recognize their contributions to the cultural heritage of the state. Colonial visitors in the Gulf South observed that Indigenous Nations recognized and respected the existence of more than two genders and conducted marriages between people of the same gender. The legacy of acceptance of LGBT+ people has a deep history locally, for which we salute Native American Nations.