Stonewall National Museum & Archives Launches Interactive Online LGBTQ History Timelines

Stonewall National Museum & Archives, the largest LGBTQ cultural organization in Florida and one of the largest LGBTQ archives and libraries in the United States, has launched In Plain Sight, an engaging digital experience that brings to life pivotal LGBTQ milestones and achievements.

In Plain Sight provides factual historic records and up-to-date information about people who have come out in different professional areas. It features more than 800 entries with brief descriptions and zoom-in capabilities for high-res photos organized in 10 categories: AIDS/HIV, Arts, Business, Film/TV, Literature, Memorials, Milestones, Music, Sports, and Theatre/Dance. Far more than an interactive display, the team designed an engaging curriculum that provides in-depth education and opportunities to interact with existing material from the archival collection available at the museum.

For centuries there was a tremendous stigma associated with being gay.  From both a religious and civil perspective people have been ostracized because of who they love.  This prejudice has caused a tremendous amount of hardship for many people.

Over the past few decades, students and proponents of gay studies and gay rights have looked at LGBTQ history to understand where the bias comes from and how people have worked to overcome that stigma.  This work is done to improve the people today and future generations.

Understanding LGBTQ history of bias is important to anyone who cares about racism, sexism, ageism, or any form of discrimination. It is important to anyone who cares about breaking down barriers and creating an inclusive society.

Hunter O’Hanian, Executive Director of Stonewall commented, “For years, a static LGBTQ timeline showcased in a wall became one of the museum’s most popular areas. We wanted to expand its reach to online audiences at a time when visits to cultural institutions are restricted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while making it timelier and more inclusive regarding gender and race.”

In Plain Sight was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Florida Humanities Council. The project was developed in partnership with our research team and multidisciplinary digital firm DreamCatcherMKT.

The Timeliness can be accessed in-person at the museum or online at on desktop or mobile devices. The in-person experience consists of two large touchscreen displays and an engaging curriculum that allows students and visitors to explore and examine copies of items, such as buttons, t-shirts, papers, periodicals, and other artifacts contained in the archives. The goal is to provide an interactive discussion that enhances the learning experience of our history.

Visitors are encouraged to schedule an appointment or one-on-one tour by calling (954) 763-8565 Monday – Friday from 11am to 5pm or Saturdays from 11am to 3pm. The museum is following strict COVID-19 health guidelines.