Whose History Gets Remembered?
In 2022 the LGBTQ Alliance partnered with Green Bicycle Co. and the Sheboygan County Historical Museum, with funding through from the Telling the Full History Fund - a grant program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, made possible through the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project’s goals were to highlight the roles that underrepresented communities played in the history and evolution of Sheboygan County, as well as educating and creating a model for continued data collection, communications, and partnerships. Green Bicycle Co. worked alongside the Sheboygan County LGBTQ Alliance to collect and archive information and create opportunities for engagement and exhibition of local LGBTQ stories. Below you will find general resources on LGBTQ+ history, and the first three local LGBTQ stories we archived as part of Telling the Full History.
You can also submit your OWN local history below!
LGBTQ History Resources
Check out this timeline of United States LGBTQ history from CNN that starts in 1924 (when The Society for Human Rights was founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago - the first documented gay rights organization in the U.S.), with milestones as recent as October 2022 (when the Social Security Administration announced that people can now choose their sex marker in their Social Security records).
From the Wisconsin Historical Society: “The history of the LGBTQ+ community in Wisconsin is extraordinary, despite being largely untold. While the focus on the gay liberation movement is focused predominantly on America’s coasts, real progress was made right here in the Badger State. In 1966, Wisconsin had the first public call by a political body for abolition of restrictions against queer people so they could have “freedom of action.” Before Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, Midwest cities including Madison had openly gay elected officials. In 1982, Wisconsin became the first state to enact a gay rights law prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation. Wisconsin was also the first state to elect three openly gay/lesbian persons to Congress: Steve Gunderson, Tammy Baldwin, and Mark Pocan. Learn more about the history of the queer community through articles, artifacts, and other important items below that help tell their story.”
Sheboygan has our own rich LGBTQ history, from safe spaces, to the first legal same-sex marriage, to the banning of conversion therapy, to the first pride picnic, and to the formation of the Sheboygan County LGBTQ Alliance. Below are stories of local residents who have been part of making LGBTQ+ history in Sheboygan County.
"I will continue fighting for our community as long as I have breath in my body. But, I mean, I think we need to continue to fight the good fight. We need to make sure that our voices are heard. We need to ensure that we are protecting our community and that we are also letting the much larger community of Sheboygan know that we have a lot to contribute, that we vote, we have jobs, we buy houses, we live within this community."
“She's [Nina’s mother] like, the life that you're living is for you. She's like, you're not living this life for me. You're not living this life to make anybody else happy or to be what anybody else wants you to be. You're here to live this life and experience love and happiness the way that you experience it.”
Share your own story
Tell us your story, your family's story, or a story you heard about. It could be your coming out story, your wedding story, an event you attended, a story about how you found your queer community, who inspired or supported you, or anything else related to queer life in Sheboygan County!
You can submit as little as a sentence or two, share a longer document, or attach photos, including scanned documents (e.g. posters, tickets, flyers, programs) or even images of physical items (just take a good photo and attach). There are really no rules- we want to know all kinds of histories, herstories, and their stories- and they don't all have to be sunny. We know folks have struggled, and folks have triumphed. And most of us are just doing our best! All our stories matter.
SUBMISSION FORM: https://forms.gle/uYuzYrdNTgXtRfvg9