Preservation Maryland Completes First-Ever State LGBTQ History Report
The report is a milestone in Preservation Maryland's multi-year commitment to LGBTQ heritage visibility.
The project was funded in part by the Maryland Historical Trust's Historic Preservation Non-Capital Grant Program. Upon accepting the report, State Historic Preservation Officer and Director of the Maryland Historical Trust, Elizabeth A. Hughes, stated: "The Maryland Historical Trust has been delighted to partner with Preservation Maryland on this important project, which takes the first steps in recognizing LGBTQ heritage statewide. As the state historic preservation office, we are committed to documenting and preserving the history of all Marylanders, and this effort supports a key objective highlighted by the public and identified in our statewide preservation plan."
The author of the LGBTQ Historic Context Study is Dr. Susan Ferentinos, a leading expert in LGBTQ research oft associated with major national research projects. Dr. Ferentinos penned the report that illuminates Maryland LGBTQ history in rural, suburban, and urban locations, including sites associated with non-binary historical figures, leading "out" elected officials, strong community groups and popular gay bars, advocacy for AIDS treatment and marriage equality, and many other important sites.
Meagan Baco, Director of Communications at Preservation Maryland and project manager for the initiative, stated: "The importance of this report cannot be understated and it is just the beginning of a more expansive inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity representation in history. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people have always been a part of Maryland's life - their omission in previous research was rooted in discrimination, not a lack of importance. Any historian looking for an accurate account of Maryland life should consider this report a must-read."
The project team hosted five community listening sessions across the state and responded to dozens of research leads. Preservation Maryland Waxter Intern, Benjamin Egerman, now a Librarian at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, geocoded these locations and many more to an interactive online map hosted on HistoryPin with a short description, photo, and source.
Continuing the work, the Baltimore City Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation and Montgomery County Planning have partnered with Preservation Maryland on a Certified Local Government grant, funded by the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the Maryland Historical Trust, to nominate five specific LGBTQ-significant sites to the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties and National Register of Historic Places.