Rainbow Banners at the Ohio Statehouse, 1995. Stonewall Union Records, MSS 1150 AV
Many of the historical LGBTQ+ collections at the Ohio History Connection are part of the Gay Ohio History Initiative (GOHI). GOHI is a special initiative of the Ohio History Connection that collects, preserves, and shares the history of LGBTQ+ Ohioans. The GOHI collections include organizational records, photographs, personal papers, publications, museum objects and oral history recordings that tell the stories of individuals and the broader LGBTQ+ community in their own words. For more information, visit the GOHI website.
Identity is a tricky and personal thing. It is always best to define a person in the way that they define themselves, past or present. But LGBTQ+ history can present some problems. Many historical figures have had their identities left out of the historic record. LGBTQ+ ancestors did not conceptualize of gender and sexuality in the same way as we do, or with the same words -- but we have to use words we understand to write about them.
If we let these problems stop us, a large number of LGBTQ+ folks will be missing from our research. When you are ready to write about what you have found, here are a few ideas on how to make inferences in a respectful and informed way.
Know of a resource we should include here? Email us at email@example.com!