As the fight for LGBTQ equality continues to move forward, a movement is underway to preserve the stories of the past. Chris Rudisill, Executive Director of the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Florida joins Robert Traynham to discuss the importance of preserving this history to build a heritage for future generations. Click here for part 1 of Preserving LGBTQ History.
Interview recorded on May 17, 2017. Hosted by Robert Traynham. Part 2 of 2.
Read a partial transcript of this interview below:
Traynham: Talking about communities and around the world, I also want to now move to the Yellow Brick Road Show. What is that? It sounds fascinating.
Rudisill: The Yellow Brick Road Show, we launched this year, and it was a new initiative to grow the museum’s collection and also grow support for preserving our history. We launched this in February in Los Angeles. And these events are both collection and fundraising events held across the country, where we ask folks to bring in pieces of their both past and present LGBT history. So if you’ve marched, or you’re marching in a march this year, and you have a T-shirt from that, you can bring that to be part of that history that we’re preserving.
Traynham: I find that fascinating. It reminds me a little bit of the African-American Museum here in Washington, D.C…
Traynham: …where there was a call to all Americans, but specifically African-Americans. That guitar that’s in Grandma’s attic or those pair of socks that Grandma knitted, or those sneakers that were used to march during the civil rights movement — send that to Washington. That stuff — That’s not — That’s part of our history. That’s part of our culture, and it needs to be preserved. Is that what this is about?
Rudisill: Right. We learned a lot from the African-American Museum of History and Culture and their efforts in collecting, because so many people don’t realize what pieces of history they may hold.
Rudisill: And you know, for a lack of paraphrase, in their closet.
Rudisill: And so we wanted to come out…
Traynham: Come out of the closet.
Rudisill: Come out of the closet with your stuff, as well. And you know, those items can help tell a very rich history to future generations. So, you think of something today, an event that you may attend or with all of the movement for equality today happening, something from those events could be mind-blowing for someone 20 years from now, when they’re trying to look at that long stretch of LGBTQ history from 1900s on.
Traynham: So, Chris, if I’m in the Southern Florida area or perhaps maybe I’m surfing the Web, where can I find out more information about this museum?
Rudisill: So, the best place is stonewall-museum.org. We are located in Fort Lauderdale in Wilton Manors, but we have events and programs happening across the country. So, I always recommend people go directly to the website, stonewall-museum.org, or hit us on Twitter @stonewallmuseum.
Traynham: Chris Rudisill, thank you very much for joining us.
Rudisill: Thank you so much.
Traynham: And thank you for joining us, as well. For more great conversations with your leaders in your community and across the nation, visit comcastnewsmakers.com. I’m Robert Traynham.