LGBT History Website To Launch October 21st

November 24, 2014

West Hollywood, California (Monday, October 6, 2008) – OutHistory.org , the new website on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and, yes, heterosexual history, will make its official debut on Tuesday, October 21.



Postcards: Masculine Women, Feminine Men; early-20th c. WeHo News – West Hollywood’s ONLY Newspaper, ONLY ONLINE!

Pioneering historian and project director Jonathan Ned Katz describes OutHistory.org as “a dynamic developing website that makes the history of sexuality accessible to a diverse audience.”

In these early stages the site will focus on the United States, but OutHistory is working to expand its geographic scope.

“It has the potential to connect with a wide new audience who never before had access to reliable work on LGBTQ history,” said Dr. Katz.

In these early stages the site will focus on the United States, but OutHistory is working to expand its geographic scope.

Currently OutHistory features several historical “exhibits,” among them a colorful collection of postcards from the early-twentieth century depicting “masculine women and feminine men.”


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In the words of a popular song from the turn of the century (which users can hear on the site) these postcards ask: “which is the rooster which is the hen?”



Postcards: Masculine Women, Feminine Men; early-20th c. WeHo News – West Hollywood’s ONLY Newspaper, ONLY ONLINE!

OutHistory contains two types of articles. Entries by named authors are marked as “Protected” and may not be edited by the public.

“Protected entries provide the credibility associated with the naming of a particular author,” said Lauren Gutterman, the website’s Coordinator.

OutHistory also contains articles marked as “Open” to additions and edits by any logged-on users with data, documents, and citations.

“These collaboratively created entries,” says Katz, “are an innovative experiment in history by the community.”

In addition to the postcard exhibit, protected entries include Ron Schlittler’s original photographic exhibit: “Out and Elected in the USA:1974-2004,” an exhibit on some of the first homosexual rights organizations in the US curated by C. Todd White, as well as several Blogs on History by Joan Nestle, cofounder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives.


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Several protected exhibits were jointly created by professors and their students. “Queer Youth: On Campus, in the Media, 1947-2007,” was written by students at Bryn Mawr and Haverford colleges, under the guidance of Professor of History Sharon Ullman.



Postcards: Masculine Women, Feminine Men; early-20th c. WeHo News – West Hollywood’s ONLY Newspaper, ONLY ONLINE!

OutHistory is an ideal forum for teachers to get students involved with and excited about history,” said Ms. Gutterman.

Renowned anthropologist Esther Newton also worked with her students at the University of Michigan to produce an exhibit on “Lesbians in the Twentieth Century.”

A fascinating group of documents on transgender American history are republished from Jonathan Ned Katz’s out-of-print books, “Gay American History” and “Gay/Lesbian Almanac.”

“OutHistory hopes to republish lots of authors’ out-of-print but still valuable historical works,” says Gutterman.



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Documents from Martin Duberman’s out of print “About Time: Exploring the Gay Past,” will also be added to the site.



Postcards: Masculine Women, Feminine Men; early-20th c. WeHo News – West Hollywood’s ONLY Newspaper, ONLY ONLINE!

OutHistory is collaborating with ChicagoGayHistory.org , a website founded by Tracy Baim, editor of the Windy City Times, and both sites are presenting original essays on Chicago LGBT history by Professor John D’Emilio.

“We are also discussing a partnership between OutHistory and The National Archive of Lesbian and Gay History, founded by Richard Wandel,” said Lauren Gutterman.

“And we’ve met with Jason Bauman, who is coordinating the LGBT Digital Collections at the New York Public Library to discuss future collaborations.”

OutHistory is produced by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS), a research institute at the City University of New York Graduate Center.


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The creation of the site was funded by the Arcus Foundation under a two-year grant that ends December 31, 2008. CLAGS is seeking funds to continue the site in 2009 and 2010.



Postcards: Masculine Women, Feminine Men; early-20th c. WeHo News – West Hollywood’s ONLY Newspaper, ONLY ONLINE!

“In an election year and in the midst of an economic meltdown,” says Dr. Katz, foundations tell us they are focused on human and civil rights issues, not history” says Katz, “but we need to remember the past as well as grapple with the present.

“Knowing the history of present struggles makes today’s activists more effective.”

OutHistory is, in fact, seeking funding for several illustrated “Histories of the Present,” on the movement for LGBT marriage and domestic partner rights, on AIDS activism, and on the issue of homosexuals in the U.S. military.

“Publicizing the history of LGBT activism is a form of activism,” Dr. Katz stresses, “so keeping OutHistory alive and kicking is a political act.”


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