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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 10 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 02
Revealing Queer - MOHAI's groundbreaking LGBTQ history exhibit opens February 2014
Section One
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Revealing Queer - MOHAI's groundbreaking LGBTQ history exhibit opens February 2014

Tim Moffett - SGN Staff Writer

The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) will begin its second year at its new Lake Union location by presenting 'Revealing Queer,' a landmark exhibit on the history of the Puget Sound's LGBTQ community.

The exhibit is one of the first of its kind in a mainstream history museum, and will be on display from February 14 through July 6.

'Revealing Queer' explores how the Puget Sound LGBTQ community has grown, changed, become increasingly visible, and worked toward equality.

Informed throughout by the lived experiences of the Puget Sound region's very diverse population, 'Revealing Queer' traces LGBTQ history from an emerging underground community in the years before the Stonewall Riots of 1969, to the large and politically active community that helped make marriage equality law in Washington state in 2012.

Visitors will discover this complex history through a variety of themes, including language, significant cultural spaces, Queer celebrations, regional law, and more.

'Revealing Queer' is the result of a collaborative effort between many individuals and organizations, led by Erin Bailey and Nicole Robert, co-founders of Queering the Museum - an ongoing project to uncover and share LGBTQ history in institutions across the country. 'Projects like 'Revealing Queer' are important,' said Bailey, 'because once you're in the museum, no one can contest your history.'

Bailey worked closely with a community advisory committee to curate 'Revealing Queer.' The committee was comprised of individuals and representatives from local LGBTQ organizations, including API Chaya, Entre Hermanos, Ingersoll Gender Center, Northwest Lesbian & Gay History Museum Project, Seattle Gay News, Tacoma's Rainbow Center, and Older Lesbians Organizing for Change.

'We started this project seeking to explore ways to engage LGBTQ communities in museums,' said Bailey. 'This exhibition has recovered history that would have otherwise been lost and is preserving the history that's happening now. We're trying to ensure that the Queer narrative is archived.'

'Revealing Queer' will be featured in MOHAI's Linda and Ted Johnson Family Community Gallery, an intimate space designed to promote community ownership of MOHAI through exhibits curated in collaboration with local partners.

An opening night celebration will be held on Friday, February 14, from 7-11 p.m. at MOHAI (860 Terry Ave. N.).

The evening will feature drink, dessert, activities and performances from LGBTQ groups throughout Seattle. Activities include Gay Bingo, hosted by Mama Tits, and Queer burlesque with the incomparable Lily Divine and Pidgeon Von Tramp.

Tickets are $12 for the general public and $10 for MOHAI members, and are available online at www.mohai.org. The exhibit runs through July 6.

MOHAI members can preview 'Revealing Queer' on Wednesday, February 12 from 6-8:30 p.m.

MOHAI admission is FREE to the general public on the 1st Thursday of the month.

The Seattle Gay News hopes this will be a launching point to the conversation about preserving and celebrating the Puget Sound region's LGBTQ history.

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