New Archive, Timeline Highlight History of LGBT-Led Families

By Alex Davidson

Originally published on Advocate.com October 15 2013 6:00 AM ET

Are you an LGBT parent who wants to share the history of the parent equality movement with your child? Or do you have an LGBT child who wants to learn more about how his/her predecessors fought for equal rights?

There’s now a resource. The Family Equality Council has partnered with Yale University to create a fascinating timeline chronicling the history and major milestones in the LGBT parent equality movement.

The interactive timeline, unveiled last week, is part of a larger Yale effort to preserve more than 30 years of historic and archival materials from the Family Equality Council and other LGBT organizations focused on family equality.

“It is a measure of how far we’ve come that we can now take the time to preserve these historic materials,” said Family Equality Council executive director Gabriel Blau. “My fervent hope is that well before another three decades have passed, we can close the books on this part of our nation’s history because we will have achieved full legal and social equality for families with parents who are LGBT.”

The Family Equality Council records include correspondence, planning documents, governance board minutes, annual reports, publications, and financial documents. The materials will arrive in Manuscripts and Archives, a department within the Yale University Library, in early 2014. They will be part of a growing collection of primary source materials documenting the history of LGBT people at the local, national, and international levels.

Family Equality Council is not the only such organization to have some of its archival materials at Yale. Yale’s Manuscripts and Archives also holds the papers of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the litigation group that won the right of same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and other states, and Love Makes a Family, a group that worked to secure the legal recognition of LGBT-headed families in Connecticut.

The person behind the archival project is George Chauncey, Samuel Knight Professor of History and American Studies and codirector of the Yale Research Initiative on the History of Sexualities. The goal of the project is to document the history of the LGBT family equality movement in the U.S.

This is a great new resource for young and old showing how LGBT families have fought to secure recognition and equality during the last three decades. There is a vast amount to explore and plenty of undiscovered milestones to learn about along the way.

Contact reporter Alex Davidson on Twitter at Twitter.com/adwildcat.