An American LGBTQ+ History Museum to open in New York City
The museum will become part of the New-York Historical Society and will open to the public in 2024.
As pride month comes to an end, there is still good news on the horizon for the LGBTQ+ community.
The New York Historical Society Museum and Library will be the home of the first-ever American LGBTQ+ History Museum. The former is the oldest museum in New York City.
The new space will include a diverse collection of stories, artifacts, and programs to tell the stories of multi-layered sexualities and gender identities.
Topics will range from the Stonewall Riots, to the rise of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The mission is to get people informed about the impactful history of LGBTQ+ citizens in America, and the many obstacles they’ve had to overcome.
Richard Burns, the museum’s board chair, told The New York Times that members have been waiting for decades to create the informative museum, and now is the perfect time to do so.
“Suddenly we’ve reached this moment, a tipping point where more and more people are saying, ‘We better record this history, integrate it and celebrate it before we lose it,’” Burns said.
In 2017, a group of Burns’ friends got together and started developing plans for the first stages of the museum.
Burns and his team are focused on telling the untold stories of individuals whose lives were lost because of their sexual identity.
“We don’t need museums about Will & Grace and Ellen DeGeneres,'' Burns said. “Those stories are told in popular culture.”
In addition to the untold stories of queer individuals, the museum will also focus on providing a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals while also learning about their own history in the process.
In 2018, the New York City Council supported the development of the museum. The next year, they began their partnership with The New York Historical Society.
Construction on the large-scale expansion of New York Historical Society’s building is set to begin early next year. However, the grand opening of the new museum is scheduled for 2024.
The historical society also recently revealed that they have been given $35 million from the New York City Department of Cultural Affair for the museum's expansion.
The New York Historical Society museum and library will add an additional 70,000 square feet of space, and will devote an entire floor dedicated to the American LGBTQ+ Museum. The museum will be large enough to accommodate activity spaces, educational programs, and galleries.
Despite there being many museums across the country dedicated to queer culture, like the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art and the GBLT Historical Society Museum and Archives in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco, the American LGBTQ+ history museum will cover all of the stories, voices, and events that have transpired in the community.
Another mission the directors of the museum are focusing on is to help younger queer generations who would like to learn more about their history. To accommodate, the museum will add education programs, which will include school tours and workshops.
In the meantime, board directors and LGBTQ+ historians are working together to create appealing and diverse content for future exhibits.
For more information on the developing American LGBTQ+ History museum, check out its website.