The Long Road
Bridgeport Mayor Mark Barbee, right, and Council President John Pizza, photographer unknown (courtesy of the Montgomery County LGBT Business Council)
Bridgeport Mayor Mark Barbee, Council member Kyle Shenk, and Montgomery County LGBT Business Council President Richard Buttacavoli stand proud just after Bridgeport passed its ordinance, photographer unknown (courtesy of the Montgomery County LGBT Business Council)
The Long Road to LGBTQ+ Equality in Pennsylvania is a traveling history exhibit that chronicles the efforts that activists have undertaken in Pennsylvania to achieve full equality for LGBTQ+ people. With the lack of success in passing statewide legislative protections from discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations and education, activists have been working for more than five decades to obtain these protections one battle at a time, one municipality at a time. The exhibit uses case studies of several cities and townships to highlight not just the political struggles, but the personal stories as well. This exhibit debuts in mid-February 2019, in the 50th anniversary year of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, a pivotal event in the LGBTQ+ movement toward equality.
This exhibit tells these stories through historical narrative, photographs and video of oral history first person accounts of activists involved in the struggles to achieve protection from discrimination. Along the way, they faced some of the very discrimination they were seeking to protect their community from, including harassment, physical assault, arson, and bombings.
Three copies of this exhibit will travel throughout Pennsylvania beginning in February 2019. You can see where the exhibits are scheduled to be on display by referring to our calendar. If your organization would like to host and provide a suitable venue to display the exhibit, you can use our request form.
For the most up-to-date list of municipalities in Pennsylvania who have passed ordinances offering protection from discrimination for LGBTQ+ people, visit the Pennsylvania Youth Congress web site.
This exhibit is sponsored by the PA LGBT History Network, whose mission is to engage people in discovering Pennsylvania’s LGBTQ+ history, historic sites, history projects, artifacts and archival collections, and to facilitate collaboration between the organizations, institutions and individuals that provide stewardship of this heritage. Become a part of the Network on Facebook, or join our Google Group.
This exhibit is made possible through the generous contributions of the following:
- The Schlegel-Deibler Charitable Foundation
- The Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Fund
- The Montgomery County LGBT Business Council
- And individual contributors
- Justin F. Robinette, Esquire / The Discrimination Lawyer
Along with in-kind support from:
- John Anderies, John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives of the William Way LGBT Community Center of Philadelphia
- LGBT Center of Central PA
- Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections
- Pennsylvania Youth Congress
- William Burton
- Chad M. Ruegsegger
- Barry Loveland, exhibit curator
We thank them for their generous support!
If you would also like to help support the exhibit moving throughout Pennsylvania, donate here. Thank you.