In May 2014, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced a new theme study as part of the National Park Service Heritage Initiative to identify places and events associated with the hertiage of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals for inclusion in the parks and programs of the agency.
The LGBTQ Heritage Advisory Group, which is part of Virginia’s State Historic Preservation Office, has collected information for an LGBTQ historic resources map which will continually be updated.
According to the DHR website, the goals of this LGBTQ historic initiative include:
Engaging scholars, preservationists and community members to identify, research, and tell the stories of LGBTQ associated properties;
Encouraging national parks, national heritage areas, and other affiliated areas to interpret LGBTQ stories associated with them;
Identifying, documenting, and nominating LGBTQ-associated sites as National Historic Landmarks
Increasing the number of listings of LGBQ-associated properties in the National Register of Historic Places.
DHR has posted an online form to recieve suggestions, stories, or other facts about the LGBTQ movement in Virginia. The agency will use the information gathered to update research materials featured below and to update the Virginia LGBTQ Heritage Map, first begun in 2015 by VCU student Emily Buss.
The map shows hospitals, restaurants, clubs, churches, art galleries, athletic fields and more. Some of the spots include Diversity Thrift, the Metropolitan Community Church, which provides a religious home for LGBTQ Christians, Humphrey Caulder Field on North Thompson Street which has been used by the lesbian community since the 1940s mostly for softball, but also sports such as women’s bowling, soccer, rugby, and flag football and Godfrey’s, a restaurant which opened in 1995, and features drag brunches and evening drag shows.