After centuries of being left out of American and world history the LGBT Community now has a key to our community's past. OutHistory.Org, the new website of LGBT history launches October 21st 2008.
OutHistory.org, Innovative LGBT History Website to Launch October 21st
OutHistory.org, the new website on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and, yes, heterosexual history, will make its official debut on Tuesday, October 21. The public is invited to celebrate OutHistory's launch that evening, from 6 to 8 pm, in the second-floor Cyber Center of the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13 Street, New York City.
The catered event is free and all are invited to attend OutHistory Director Jonathan Ned Katz’s inaugural remarks and to explore the site on the Center's computers.
Pioneering historian Katz describes OutHistory.org as "a dynamic developing website that makes the history of sexuality accessible to a diverse audience. It has the potential to reach a wide new group who never before had access to reliable work on LGBTQ history." In its early stages the site will focus on the United States, but OutHistory is working to expand its geographic scope.
OutHistory contains two types of articles. Entries by named authors are marked as "Protected" and may not be edited by the public. "Protected entries provide the credibility associated with the naming of a particular author," said Lauren Gutterman, the website's Coordinator.
OutHistory also contains articles marked as "Open" to additions and edits by any logged-on users with data, documents, and citations. "These collaboratively created entries," says Katz, "are an innovative experiment in history by the community."
In addition to the postcard exhibit, protected entries include Ron Schlittler’s original photographic exhibit: “Out and Elected in the USA:1974-2004,” an exhibit on some of the first homosexual rights organizations in the US curated by C. Todd White, as well as several Blogs on History by Joan Nestle, cofounder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives.
Several protected exhibits were jointly created by professors and their students. "Queer Youth: On Campus, in the Media, 1947-2007," was written by students at Bryn Mawr and Haverford colleges, under the guidance of Professor of History Sharon Ullman.
“OutHistory is an ideal forum for teachers to get students involved with and excited about history," said Gutterman. Anthropologist Esther Newton also worked with her students at the University of Michigan to produce an exhibit on "Lesbians in the Twentieth Century."
A fascinating group of documents on transgender American history are republished from Jonathan Ned Katz's out-of-print books Gay American History and Gay/Lesbian Almanac. "OutHistory hopes to republish lots of authors' out-of-print but still valuable historical works," says Gutterman. Documents from Martin Duberman's out of print About Time: Exploring the Gay Past, will also be added to the site.