Friday, June 06, 2014

Pelosi Photo-op at Interior Dept's Gay Panel; Historians Named

My representative in the House, Mrs. Nancy Pelosi, never has time to hold town hall meetings with her San Francisco constituents. She is always jetting around the country helping the Democratic Party or having a glam Hollywood lunch with actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus (attended and duly reported by the New York Times' unofficial gay section, Sunday Styles).

On Tuesday, June 10th the Department of the Interior will convene the first meeting of its LGBT scholars panel to began the process of identifying locations of historical significance to our community and all Americans. The meeting starts at 2 pm at Yates Auditorium of the department located at 1849 C Street, NW, in Washington.

And Pelosi will be there for a photo-op and essentially co-opt the proceeding. She'll be joined by gay Democratic Party operative and Obama appointee John Berry. Why do they need to be there? Can the gay community please conduct our discussions without always having elected officials, gay or straight, show up and take up our time and suck out political oxygen to advance themselves?

Recall that last week I blogged about Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell staging a photo-op at the Stonewall Inn. as the launch of this theme study her department is conducting with a $250,000 grant from gay millionaire Tim Gill and besides him the only other gay speaker was New York City City Councilmember Corey Johnson, a Democrat.

Not one Stonewall Riot vet or person of color or drag queen was part of the official ceremony, leading me to believe a huge part of this Interior project is under the thumb of Democratic officials and wealthy gays.

April Slayton, the department's public affairs officer, shared this news with me yesterday:
The Secretary's office will be announcing the details [on Friday about the June 10 meeting], but there will be a live webcast of the event, so you will be able to tune in and submit questions for the question and answer portion.
I heartily approve of this streaming and being able to engage with the panel as they hold their first public discussion. Slayton also shared info on how the panel was determined and who is on it:
The National Park Service identified qualified scholars based on recommendations from our staff and other scholars knowledgeable of the field of LGBT culture and history, as well as historic preservation. I've attached a list of the scholars, who have agreed to participate in the theme study. We anticipate involving many other scholars, activists and others as we reach out through our state and local partners to identify these sites and stories over the next year.
Katie Batza is an assistant professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas. 

Drew Bourn PhD, MLIS, is an historian and archivist at Stanford University.

Nan Alamilla Boyd has a BA in history from UC Berkeley (1986) and a PhD in American Studies from Brown University (1995).

Julio CapĆ³, Jr. is assistant professor in the Department of History and the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

John D’Emilio is a pioneer in the field of LGBT studies and the history of sexuality, John D’Emilio has just retired from his position at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Petra L. Doan is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the Florida State University. 

Jen Jack Gieseking is a cultural geographer and environmental psychologist engaged in research on space, gender and sexual identities in digital and material environments. 

Christina B. Hanhardt is Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Gerard Koskovich is a San Francisco–based historian, curator, rare book dealer and communications consultant.

Barbara Little is the program manager for the NPS cultural resources office of outreach in Washington, DC. 

Paula Martinac had her first taste of historic reuse at age 5, when her father brought her along to salvage bricks from his grandfather’s house.

Mark Meinke founded Washington, DC’s LGBTQ historical and archival organization in 2000 and led it for the next ten years.

La Shonda Mims earned her PhD in history at the University of Georgia in 2012.

Stephen Morris has held a variety of positions with the National Park Service over the last 26 years. 

William P. O'Brien, PhD is the National Park Service Intermountain Region's Desert Southwest Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit Cultural Resource Specialist.

Professor Stephen Pitti is Director of Yale’s Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Program; Professor of American Studies and History.

Will Roscoe’s research on the Native American berdache or two-spirit tradition has appeared in numerous journals and publications.

Megan Springate is an historical archaeologist with experience working in academic, institutional, and cultural resource management environments.

Shayne Watson is an architectural historian based in San Francisco, California.
The White House Office of Public Engagement issued an alert about the June 10 meeting and said questions and comments should be sent to this addy: I hope lots of us send suggestions to the panel.


Will Kohl said...

Gerard Koskovich is the only person I have ever heard of. Another case of many people with no ties to out past writing our history. Hello Jo Becker!

Bill Wilson said...

Will Kohl, just because you don't recognize any names beyond Gerard's doesn't mean that they aren't writers of our history. I would recommend Will Roscoe's The Zuni Man-Woman to you and Nan Alamilla Boyd's Wide Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965. John D'Emilo is also another name I recognize.Maybe you should have hit the search button before commenting.

Jen Jack Gieseking said...

Hi Michael, Will, and Bill,

Very good points but also reveals how little of lgbtq history has been recorded or written. For example, I am writing the first lesbian history of NYC just now in 2014. Mindblowing, true, and yet unsurprising and cruel all at once, I know.

If you want to live tweet me during the day, I am @jgieseking and will do my best to respond. Please chime in during the live stream and get others to, too!

My best,

MSpringate said...

Michael, Will, and Bill. Thanks for your comments on the project. Community input - from all LGBTQ communities - is critical to making this project a success. I encourage you and your readers to engage with us via the NPS public comment website or directly via email. Both addresses and additional information can be found on the initiative page jere: