LGBT Life in Iowa City, Iowa: 1967-2010 Online Exhibit Earns Honorable Mention

OutHistory.org, the award-winning website on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer U.S. history, announced the winners of its “Since Stonewall Local Histories Contest,” 41 years after the start of the rebellion that marks the beginning of the modern movement for LGBTQ rights and liberation.

“LGBT Life in Iowa City, Iowa: 1967-2010″ online exhibit curated by University Archivist David McCartney and Iowa Women’s Archives Curator Karen Mason earned an honorable mention in the competition. The exhibit is a timeline featuring over 70 images chronicling the history of the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender communities in Iowa City. Content was drawn from collections in the Iowa Women’s Archives, the University Archives, and from the personal collections of several members of the community, who contributed their time to the UI Libraries’ effort.

The contest—the first of its kind—invited people from across the country to create exhibits on OutHistory.org about the history of LGBTQ life in their village, town, city, county, or state since the Stonewall riots, 40 years ago. The contest also offered five cash prizes, from $5,000 to $1,000, to the creators of the top five exhibits. The awards were provided by the Arcus Foundation, which funded OutHistory.org for four years.

OutHistory.org received over thirty exciting exhibits about LGBTQ history. One of the contest’s major goals was to draw attention to LGBTQ history in places that scholars have overlooked. Exhibits include entries about states such as Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, and Virginia, among others.

The “Since Stonewall” exhibits are all geographically-based, but range dramatically in subject, from one New Yorker’s memoirs, to a history of the Gay Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., an account of a long-lived gay bar in Michigan called The Flame, and a timeline of The Lesbian Mothers National Defense Fund in Seattle. All the entries are listed on the site.

Professors and historians of homosexuality John D’Emilio and Leisa Meyer served as judges of the contest.