I am one of the 18 LGBT Studies scholars invited by the Secretary of the Interior to come to DC this week and give recommendations for policies in selecting future US LGBT monuments. I am honored, thrilled, and inspired. I never would have imagined when I was coming out in the early 1990s that such monuments would ever exist, let alone I would be part of this conversation.
Representing the gender, racial, class, generational, age, and geographic diversity of our history is the top priority of those scholars who will be coming together tomorrow to discuss this work. As the geographer of the group, I will pay special attention to making sure we speak not only to the urban or the coasts but the rural, suburban, and other parts of our countries. We may not associate certain types of places or spaces as being LGBTQ but we are indeed everywhere and our histories are everywhere as well. I am especially interested in how we represent the everydayness of the struggle toward equal recognition and rights that has been ongoing much longer than the US has even existed. As such it is key that we seek to represent not only loss and mourning but also resistance and presence.