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The nonprofit group has gathered volumes of information about gay life in Alabama, and it will expand in to Mississippi and Georgia this year. Organizers hope to cover the entire Southeast within a few years. AP — A new project is documenting a once-hidden history of LGBTQ people in the Deep South, with donors providing troves of information and items on gay life, systemic oppression and activism.
A new project is documenting the history of LGBTQ people in the Deep South, a region that once all but forced gays, lesbians and others to live in hiding. Now 66, he compiled a trove of information from years that included the AIDS epidemic and the oppression of gay people in the Deep South. He also donated a report compiled following a daylong event held years ago at a gay-friendly church to assess the needs and desire of the gay community around Birmingham. We know what people in whatever year it was, 15 or 20 years ago, thought was important.
Items in the collection include documents about a conflict over plans to hold the Southeastern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual College Conference at the University of Alabama in The meeting went ahead as planned without incident, and Alabama voters elected Sessions to the U. Senate later that year. The archive also includes documents related to the arrest of about 20 men accused of cruising for gay sex in a weeklong police sting conducted in a park in Tuscaloosa in , said Burford, who originally researched the cases for school and is giving personal materials to the project.
Rather than developing a mammoth, gay version of the Smithsonian Institution that could be difficult for people to visit, the Invisible Histories Project plans to store items in smaller, local repositories.