I just spent a few days in Washington, D.C., attending an “envisioning workshop” for a planned National Museum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History and Culture.
The Velvet Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by CEO Timothy S. Scofield, is planning the museum, which will take about a decade to open. From the Velvet Foundation’s website:
The purpose of the Velvet Foundation is to collect, preserve, and interpret artifacts and other tangible and intangible objects pertaining to, or associated with, the history and culture in the United States of America of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other persons of non-traditional sexual orientation or gender identity ("LGBT Experience") and to establish, support, operate, and promote a national museum chronicling the LGBT Experience.
The museum of American LGBT history and culture will be a forum for the identification, study, and dissemination of the social, historical, and cultural contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community—and its relation within the larger society—through collections, exhibitions, research, publications, and other public programs.
Among the other attendees at last week’s workshop in Washington:
- Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire
- Kevin Jennings, assistant deputy secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education
- Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality
- Donna Red Wing, senior advisor for Program and Development to The Interfaith Alliance
- Cathy Renna, of Renna Communications, which specializes in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues
- Sylvia Rhue, director of religious affairs for the National Black Justice Coalition
- Austin Laufersweiler, 18, of Marietta, Ga., GLSEN’s High School Senior Advocate of the Year
- Samuel Thoron, former national president of PFLAG
Here are pictures from the workshop. All photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.