Outside of a look at the Stonewall riots, gay history isn’t taught in-depth at most schools. But the LGBT community’s story began long before then, and is still being written today.

The Stonewall National Museum & Archives (SNMA) in Fort Lauderdale is dedicated to preserving and documenting the struggle. Now, they want you to join them.

They’ve kicked off a membership drive with the goal of nearly doubling the current members. SNMA is a deep, well-cataloged library of LGBT topics, ranging from fiction, non-fiction, biography, theater, poetry, art and more.

“Membership is what keeps Stonewall alive,” Executive Director Hunter O’Hanian said. “It supports our programs and operating expenses. Most libraries and archives are affiliated with a county or city government or an educational institution. We remain an independent library and archive. Membership helps us keep the lights on and do the things we do.”

In all, they have more than 28,000 books and 1,000 DVDs of gay-themed films. Memberships start at $35. A household can become members for $50. SNMA’s Society of Donors begins at $250. Part of the campaign is the launch of “Archeion: Journal of Queer Archives.”

The quarterly publication will be a space for the voices of writers, archivists, curators, artists, performers, and poets.

“I am very excited about this publication,” O’Hanian said. “It is a way that we can look at LGBTQ archives through queer lens. We take the research and writing we develop for our exhibitions and present that, plus we ask artists, writers, researchers and thinkers to comment and respond. It is a great way to present other voices and new points of view, some of which we may not have heard before. It is a mashup of multiple voices on gay themes.” 

Archeion will be sent to all members. The first issue focuses on two recent SNMA exhibitions, BLK: The National Lesbian and Gay News Magazine, and Elected Sisters: Pioneering Bi, Lesbian and Trans Political Leaders, and features writing from contributors Che Gossett, Joe Tolbert, Jr., Dr. Rachel Corbman, and Jamie Grace Alexander. Archeion will be mailed to all Stonewall members.

SNMA has been working on the community’s story for nearly 50 years, and strong member support will keep it going for another 50 more.


To become a member or learn more about their work and LGBT history, visit their website Stonewall-Museum.org.


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