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Welcome to OutHistory tells stories about people in the past who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; and people who did not conform to dominant norms of sexuality and gender. uncovers histories of same-gender love and of gender crossing in the recent and distant past, and it tells stories about how people came to experience themselves as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual through the historical construction of the heterosexual/homosexual binary.

We believe that history is an especially valuable resource for LGBT people and our allies, since most of us did not grow up in families or communities where this history was easily available and taught.

We believe that knowing  this history can inspire and excite people, can rouse us to action, and can help us make a different future.

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OutHistory Highlights

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    Christopher Michael Elias: Sexuality and the Modern American Gossip Magazine

    The growth of gossip magazines and tabloids during the first half of the twentieth century was partially fueled by the industry's embrace of sensational topics such as murder, violence, crime, and corruption. But no subject seemed to attract more attention than sexuality, especially sexual...

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    Marc Stein: Boutilier v. Immigration and Naturalization Service (1967)

    This feature commemorates the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Boutilier v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, which upheld the deportation of Clive Michael Boutilier, a Canadian citizen and U.S. permanent resident who was classified by the INS as “afflicted with...

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    Queering the Economy: Stories from Queer Economic History

    Writing about queer bars and drag culture in the 1972 classic Mother Camp, Esther Newton observed that queer communities had “an economics but no economy.” In this exhibit, Jeffrey Escoffier and Christopher Mitchell address the economics of gay bars for the early "closeted" LGBT community...

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    Peter Sewally/Mary Jones, June 11, 1836

    Two historians, Jonathan Ned Katz and Tavia Nyong’o, present and analyze the story and visual depiction of Peter Sewally/Mary Jones, a Black transgender person in New York City, in 1836.