What is the Gay Ohio History Initiative?

June is Pride Month!

Danny Spears, 1987 Mr. Gay Columbus, posing downtown by river.

Danny Spears, 1987 Mr. Gay Columbus, posing downtown by river.

Join curator Emily Lang for a talk on Saturday, June 14th featuring collections from the Gay Ohio History Initiative (GOHI) at 2 PM on the museum floor of the Ohio History Center.

What is GOHI?

The Gay Ohio History Initiative, which began in 2006, is a collaborative effort between the Ohio History Connection and Outlook Media. With generous support from the Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation this project is designed to preserve Ohio’s GLBT history by building up our collection with artifacts that tell the story of the GLBT community in Ohio and to educate K-12 teachers on the roles of GLBT people in history.

Why is this collection important?

From the GOHI collection, ACT UP Protesters at the Columbus Dispatch, protesting the perceived lack of AIDS coverage at the Dispatch. ACT UP is an AIDS advocacy organization. The signs read, "ACT UP" and "No AIDS Censorship."

From the GOHI collection, ACT UP Protesters at the Columbus Dispatch, protesting the perceived lack of AIDS coverage at the Dispatch. ACT UP is an AIDS advocacy organization. The signs read, “ACT UP” and “No AIDS Censorship.

GOHI works to preserve, archive, and curate the history and culture of the GLBT citizens of Ohio, to tell the truth about our lives, to create opportunities for understanding of both the past and what is hoped for in the future, and to share GLBT culture and history with all Ohioans.

What projects has GOHI established?

GOHI is a multi-part project designed to educate Ohioans and raise awareness about GLBT citizens and our place in the fabric of our state. Some of these projects GOHI has established include:

"Flaggots Ohio" is a color-guard and performing-arts organization that was founded in 2002 in Columbus, Ohio. They have performed at Gay Pride and arts events across the country. Matt Eisert of Columbus, Ohio, donated this flag on behalf of Flaggots Ohio in 2007. The Columbus Gay Men's Chorus carried the flag in the 1992 Gay Pride Parade and displayed the flag when performing at the 1996 Gala Chorus Convention in Tampa, Florida.

“Flaggots Ohio” is a color-guard and performing-arts organization that was founded in 2002 in Columbus, Ohio. They have performed at Gay Pride and arts events across the country. Matt Eisert of Columbus, Ohio, donated this flag on behalf of Flaggots Ohio in 2007. The Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus carried the flag in the 1992 Gay Pride Parade and displayed the flag when performing at the 1996 Gala Chorus Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Collections

GOHI has been working to establish an archive of GLBT- related collections is continuously adding items. You can use the GOHI Collection in the Archives at the Ohio History Connection. A selection of documents and artifacts from the collection are available online in the Ohio Memory digital library.

Historical Markers

We are seeking public input to identify the people, places, events and organizations important to the history of Ohio’s GLBT community so that our history across Ohio can be commemorated with permanent historical markers. Visit Remarkable Ohio, an online database of Ohio’s historical markers, to view the marker celebrating Natalie Clifford Barney in Dayton.

Informative Banners

Two sets of banners have been created to celebrate GLBT Ohioans and gay rights activism within the state and to educate both GLBT and straight Ohioans. These traveling banners can be seen at various festivals and events that GOHI attends. Pride of Ohio is a set of three banners that showcase eighteen GLBT Ohioans. These

Anti-gay vandalism, in unidentified home in Columbus, Ohio. Shelf contents swept to floor, bookcase pulled off wall.

Anti-gay vandalism, in unidentified home in Columbus, Ohio. Shelf contents swept to floor, bookcase pulled off wall.

banners illustrate the contributions, achievements, and accomplishments made by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Ohioans. A Brief History traces the emergence and evolution of GLBT pride parades in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. These banners provide a timeline as well as information about attendance and speakers. The banners also illustrate how these parades impacted and were impacted by local and national events.

Interested in donating to GOHI?

Contact the Ohio History Connection at collections@ohiohistory.org or call 614-297-2535.

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This entry was posted in collections, Curators Talks, Current News, Donate, Gay Ohio History Iniative, Ohio Memory, Programs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What is the Gay Ohio History Initiative?

  1. Chris says:

    I worked on the GOHI collection during my graduate school practicum… in fact, three of the photos are ones I digitized. I’m proud to have been involved; this collection, and the history and issues it represents, are still of the highest importance

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