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Explore our history. Scroll through some of our major pieces of content.

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Investigate our history as we act through time.

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Keep current with the latest news & conver­sation about queer history.

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Read about important books on LGBT history.

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Welcome to OutHistory

OutHistory.org 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. OutHistory.org 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.

OutHistory is currently raising $10,000 in a Pride Month matching campaign from a Greenwich village writer an artist. You can contribute by clicking the link below. 

 

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OutHistory Highlights

  • 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...

  • John D'Emilio: Oral Histories

    23 oral LGBTQ histories written by co-director of OutHistory John D'Emilio.

  • 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...

  • 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...