In what is hailed as the largest gay history project of its kind in the nation, 30 U.S. publications serving lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people will celebrate October as Gay History Month by presenting the series, “We are America: How members of the LGBT community helped create the U.S.A.”
This groundbreaking month-long series — available at qnotes throughout the month in print and online at goqnotes.com/to/arts-entertainment/history/ — will provide compelling evidence that our founding fathers not only welcomed LGBT people to helped create this country, but without the contributions made by LGBT people, American history might have turned out quite differently.
“Throughout our nation’s 235-year history, historians have kept LGBT people and issues in the closet,” Project Coordinator and Philadelphia Gay News Publisher Mark Segal asserts. “We intend to break that closet door down forever.”
Among the upcoming news features, are these captivating findings:
- Benjamin Franklin was the first U.S. military recruiter to enlist a gay man into America’s revolutionary ranks.
- George Washington, in all probability, was the first American leader to offer domestic partner support for a same-sex couple. During the winter hardships at Valley Forge, General Washington made sure that a same-sex couple had access to housing when it was at its greatest premium. And when faced with a potential homosexual scandal at Valley Forge, he chose a more merciful course at that vulnerable time and embarrassed the officer accused of sodomy rather than imposing the death sentence as Thomas Jefferson demanded.
- An African-American gay man, George Middleton, led a troop of black men in the American Revolution.
- Several women dressed as men to enlist in America’s fledgling revolutionary army. After the war, when they could have returned to living again as women, some instead chose to live out their lives as men.
- A lesbian, Katharine Lee Bates, wrote one of America’s most beloved patriotic songs, “America the Beautiful.”
- The director of Wheatland, the home and presidential library of the unmarried President James Buchanan, discloses for the first time that it is impossible to refute that Buchanan might have been gay. In an effort to spur historians to expand their research on this unanswered question, the Wheatland library also has taken down the portrait of Ann Coleman, the one woman Buchanan was ever known to romance.
- Following the historic repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” it might surprise many Americans that the individual often considered the father of the United States military was a gay man: Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. He wrote the “Revolutionary War Drill Manual” and introduced drills, tactics and discipline to the rag-tag militia, which culminated in our independence and victory over the British.
- Readers will also be enthralled by the ongoing historical inquiry whether President Lincoln preferred men over women. Many will be surprised to learn, for example that as a young man, Abraham Lincoln might have been one of the first well-known Americans to write a boy-marries-boy poem in 1829.
The combined print run for this innovative historic coverage will be over 650,000 copies. The 30 newspapers and magazines are found in every major city in America and, with our web traffic, the reach will be in the millions.
Among those participating are leading LGBT publications in: Atlanta (GAY VOICE), Baltimore (OUT LOUD), Charlotte (Q NOTES), Chicago (WINDY CITY TIMES), Cleveland (GAY PEOPLE’S CHOICE), Dallas (DALLAS VOICE), Denver (OUT FRONT), Detroit BETWEEN LINES), Harrisburg (CENTRAL VOICE), Houston (MONTROSE STAR), Las Vegas (Q VEGAS), Los Angeles (FRONTIERS IN LA), Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS), Milwaukee (WISCONSIN GAZETTE), Minneapolis/St. Paul (LAVENDER MAGAZINE), Nashville (OUT & ABOUT), New Orleans (AMBUSH), Philadelphia (PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS), Phoenix (ECHO MAGAZINE), Pittsburgh (PITTSBURGH’S OUT), Orlando (WATERMARK), Portland (JUST OUT), Sacramento (OUTWORD), Salt Lake City (Q SALT LAKE), San Diego (GAY SAN DIEGO), San Francisco (BAY AREA REPORTER), Seattle (SEATTLE GAY NEWS), Tampa (WATERMARK), Washington D.C. (WASHINGTON BLADE) and Boston (BAY WINDOWS). We’re also happy to announce that our web partner this year is the award-winning BILERICO PROJECT.