FOX43 Focal Point: Archive Array – the history of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians on display in Carlisle

CARLISLE, Pa. - Many groundbreaking events for the LGBTQ community have taken place in Pennsylvania.

The first book with homosexual characters is believed to be written by a Pennsylvanian in 1870.

The first gay bar in the commonwealth opened in Harrisburg in 1938.

Governor Milton Shapp created the first task force for the LGBTQ community in 1974.

All of these moments and more can be re-lived in the basement libraries at Dickinson College, part of the LGBT Center of Central PA, the museum chaired by Barry Loveland.

"What we're all about is the LGVT history and how it grew here," Loveland said. "How can we collect this information in a way that will preserve it for the future, and how can we interpret this history in a way to tell a story?"

Over 150 in-person interviews logged, coupled with artifacts of all kinds tell the stories of what it was like to be LGBT in Pennsylvania through the decades.

Examples of the struggle to find each other in the 1960s, the rising activism in the 1970s and the community coming together to fight the HIV-AIDS crisis in the 1980s and beyond, all on display.

"This history exists everywhere. It's important that we recognized the fact we can find it if we look for it," Loveland said.

A book showcasing the archive of LGBTQ history in Pennsylvania will be released some time next year.

If you are in search of resources about the LGBTQ community, you can find a few of them listed here.


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