This initiative started with Aubrey Moog-Ayers, a queer apprentice weaver. Many visitors asked her for information about LGBTQ people of that time. Were there any? Who were they and what did they do?
She, therefore, undertook personal research and was able to convince the officials of the living history museum of the importance of carrying out further research.
“I’m queer, and I wanted to see if that was something that existed if I could see myself in the past,” she said.
And then the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation agreed to do extensive research on the subject, as they felt that inclusion of queer history encouraged at the museum was not enough.
“Human beings who operate outside of sexual and gender expectations have always existed within and contributed to our history,” Beth Kelly, vice president of the Education, Research and Historical Interpretation Division at the foundation, wrote in an internal memo. “Sharing this history is vital if we are committed to telling a holistic narrative of our past.”
Of course, it wasn’t easy to track down LGBTQ people.
“There are all these gaps,” Colonial Williamsburg historian Kelly Arehart said. “It’s like chasing shadows.”
Now they planned to create a sourcebook for interpreters and guides. It will be the second to be published in the United States after the 1200-page national park’s publication entitled “LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History”.
So here’s a part of LGBTQ+ history that has resurfaced after being erased for too long.
Photo from history.org