Seen = Self-Assertion
Being private—remaining unseen and safe—can minimize immediate threats and discomforts in the lives of LGBTQ+ people, but it can also be constricting. In order to effect real social change and make things better for future generations of LGBTQ+ people, being visible is often imperative.
The items in this section are all from the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building’s Manuscripts and Archives Division. Though culled from just a few of the hundreds of collections that contain LGBTQ+ materials held by that division (including the ACT UP New York Records and the Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen Gay History Papers and Photographs), they serve as good representatives of our incredibly rich array of research materials. The photographs and ephemera presented here highlight a few brave LGBTQ+ activists and artists who made themselves seen—sometimes putting their own safety at risk—to publicly assert the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ people.