LGBT

LGBTQIA+ Issues in Records at the National Archives

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Genderqueer, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Agender, Asexual, Ally, and other queer-identifying community (LGBTQIA+) Records

Please note:  Although some of these records have been digitized and made available online, there are many records that are only available in paper or microfilm format at NARA locations.

 

The National Archives’ (NARA) engages, educates, and inspires multiple audiences to discover and explore the records of the American people.

Its collection documents the experience of the full range of our diverse society. Its records constitute a rich documentary history of the experience of LGBTQIA+ individuals.

 

 

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    Federal Employment

     

    National Archives documents show that LGBTQIA+ Americans have served in the federal civil service at least since the Civil War.

    By the 1950s, in the political and social climate of the Cold War, hundreds of gay men and lesbians were fired from or refused federal jobs during what is known as "The Lavender Scare."

    This policy was not overturned until the mid-1970s.

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    Military

     

    Members of the LGBTQIA+ community have served in the U.S. armed forces from the American Revolution to the present day; lesbians since at least the First World War.

    The National Archives holds thousands of pages of documents related to U.S. policy towards members of the LGBTQIA+ community in the military.

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    Protest and Reform

     

    From Frank Kamen to the Stonewall Inn riot to Harvey Milk to Same-Sex Marriage, the LGBTQIA+ community spent decades struggling for equal protection rights.

    These efforts can be found in a range of records at the National Archives; in Presidential records, legislative records, Federal courts, and in Federal agencies.

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    LGBTQ+ Pride Month

     

    Every June, The National Archives celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

    Additional resources relating to the LGBTQIA+ community and the National Archives can be found there.

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    How You Can Help

     

    Find out how you can tag and transcribe historical records online.

    With a variety of activities to choose from, you can help us make our historical records more accessible today!

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