Long Beach was the first city in the nation to name a public park for Harvey Milk, the first gay man to be elected into public office.
Everyone is invited to join in the celebration for the LGBT History Project at the Historical Society of Long Beach. The year-long exhibit entitled “Coming Out in Long Beach” opens this month, with the special gala preview happening this Saturday, February 23rd. Award-winning musician Melissa Etheridge will make an appearance at the gala. In the beginning of her career, she played at Long Beach’s first lesbian bar, Que Sera.
The exhibit is set to highlight the struggle for equal rights and the tremendous contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Long Beach. “This is about honoring the past and the men and womenwho came before us who just did amazing work at a time when being outspoken was not only unpopular, but it was dangerous as well” said Ron Sylvester, president of The Center Long Beach.
The HSLB set forth on the major endeavor to preserve and present the history of the city’s LGBT community last summer, convening with a steering committee to oversee the completion of an exhibit that includes the compilation of oral histories and the production of a video documentary. “Since then organizers have secured a title sponsor for the project-Mercedes Benz Long Beach-to help put the materials together and to preserve them for future use,” says Julie Bartolotto, executive director of the HSLB.
LGBT History Project Kickoff Gala
Saturday, February 23, 7pm, at the Historical Society of Long Beach: 4260 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA.
Tickets $100 per person, or $90 for HSLB Members.
Starting Tuesday, February 26th, the exhibit will be open to the public.
For more information about the LGBT History Project Kick-off Gala, contact the HSLB at 562.424.2220, or connect with the LGBT History Project on Facebook at facebook.com/ LongBeachLGBTHistoryProject or tweet @LB_LGBTHistory.