A People's History of the LGBTQ Community in Grand Rapids

Visit the Grand Rapids LGBTQ People's History Project website to view the feature-length documentary as well as archival material collected for this project.

A People's History of the LGBTQ Community in Grand Rapids

"... there is an underside to every age about which history does not often speak, because history is written from records left by the privileged. We learn about politics from the political leaders, about economics from the entrepreneurs, about slavery from the plantation owners, about the thinking of an age from its intellectual elite."       ~Howard Zinn

Following the model of radical historian Howard Zinn, the Grand Rapids LGBTQ People's History Project involves the documentation of the history of the LGBTQ movement in Grand Rapids. By conducting interviews and collecting historic documents, photographs and video footage, this project has produced a documentary film and an online archive of material about the struggle for equality and justice by the Grand Rapids LGBTQ community. The screenings of A People's History of the LGBTQ Community in Grand Rapids will allow for continuing dialogue about the LGBTQ movement and provide a forum for current and future organizing. This is a project of the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy. The LGBT Resource Center is proud to be a co-sponsor along with GVSUs Kutsche Office of Local History.

Connections to the Classroom:

Radical History Review: Queer Futures
Volume 2008, Number 100, Winter 2008

Conversations with History: Howard Zinn
YouTube video created by the Institute of International Studies University of California, Berkeley

Teaching a Peoples History: Zinn Education Project
Resources: Books, Films, Posters and Websites

Out of the Closets and Into the Libraries: A Second Collection of Queer Moments
thebangarang collective

This important zine frames the importance of telling our own stories in the following way:
“I see young (and old) gays all around me obsessing over gay marriage as if its going to cure AIDS, stop anti-queer violence, provide all of us uninsured queers with health care, and reform racist immigration policies. When in reality it will simply consolidate power, money and property amongst already privileged gays, not to mention champion coupling over more dynamic ways of being in relationships. I can't help but think that if us younger queers had access to the radical histories we have all come from, we could see other more brilliant queer futures than those promised by neoliberal models of inclusivity."

Page last modified June 13, 2015