Understanding where we come from and where we've been is an important part of telling the human story. For LGBTQ+ people, those stories are often lost to time because of stigma, fear and shame.
Our America: Pride in History I celebrates the amazing stories of perseverance as the community rose up on a path of greater acceptance.
In this episode, discover why the California Gold Rush may have given LGBTQ+ people a chance to express themselves openly.
Meet political leaders, a police detective and an AIDS activist who paved the way for others. See the challenges faced by youth, learn about the struggle to protect the community's history, and meet the man who created the iconic rainbow flag.
When the Gold Rush struck California in 1849, people from all over the world flooded the state. About 90% of these new residents were men. The social structure of the mining camps and boomtowns paved the way for "intimate relationships" stories lost to time, until now.
Dalton DeHart didn't always set out to be one of the most well-known and celebrated photographers in Houston's LGBTQ+ community. But over the last four decades, he's captured a quarter million images of historical events. As the boxes of film began to pile up, he wanted to make sure his collection didn't get lost with time.
In New York City, Whitehall and Pearl streets bustle with activity today, but on Sept. 19, 1964, it was anything but quiet. What happened at that Manhattan intersection built momentum for the LGBTQ+ rights movement.
Chicago's first openly gay alderman, Tom Tunney, recently announced his retirement from the city council at the end of his upcoming term. Tunney looks back at his career impact and legacy.
The first out transgender detective in New York City is a force in the New York City Police Department. Detective Ori Harbor grew up in Detroit and shared his story on the ups, downs and challenges he has faced.
The LGBTQ+ legacy of Finocchio's, 'America's most unusual night club'
For generations of people -- and long before RuPaul's Drag Race -- there was Finocchio's in San Francisco. For visitors, it was a chance to see men dressed like women. For the workers, it was a safe haven for self-expression at a time when "being yourself" was illegal.
Phil Wilson and his partner, Chris Brownlie, were diagnosed with AIDS in the 1980s and started rallying to address the many disparities that come with AIDS, recognizing African-Americans in particular were not being served. It eventually led Wilson to leadership roles, as Los Angeles' AIDS Coordinator, helping create the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and working with two presidential administrations to fight the disease.
In Raleigh, North Carolina, a church is home to an unlikely LGBTQ+ first. Founded in the late 1800s, Pullen Memorial Baptist was one of the first churches to embrace LGBTQ+ rights, inviting the community to hold positions in the church -- and even get married.
The 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York were a flash-point in the gay rights movement. Many visitors, however, may not know about the unmarked sites that also have LGBTQ+ ties, some dating back to the 1700s.
The rainbow flag has become an international symbol for the LGBTQ+ community. As the gay community became increasingly more visible, then-activist Harvey Milk saw the need to create something that would symbolize that community. Milk approached a young artist and sewer from Kansas to fulfill his message of hope. The rainbow flag started out as a symbol of pride for the gay community. The journey to create it started in 1972 when a young Gilbert Baker took up sewing after settling in San Francisco.