LGBTQ+ Theme Study


LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History was created in 2016 as a starting point for telling LGBTQ histories in the National Park Service. Part of the NPS Heritage Initiative for Telling All Americans’ Stories, it reveals the humanity of one group of U.S. citizens who were historically marginalized and disparaged.

The theme study aims to connect the complex histories of LGBTQ people to American history broadly, and to places and landscapes specifically. These connections form a framework for identifying, protecting, and interpreting places with LGBTQ histories and, where appropriate, for nominating properties to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and as National Historic Landmarks (NHL).

An accompanying workbook called the Pride Guide contains a short summary of each chapter from the theme study, as well as discussion questions and activities.

The LGBTQ Heritage Theme Study was published by the National Park Foundation and funded by the Gill Foundation. Each chapter is written and peer reviewed by experts in LGBTQ Studies.

Intended Audience

The theme study presents an extensive exploration of topics affecting LGBTQ+ communities and places.

For cultural resource managers and preservationists, the theme study contains academic and archeological context for future preservation. Its contents can help inform NRHP and NHL nominations.

For interpreters the theme study contains information on LGBTQ history, places, culture, and intersectionality. It explores the overlap of sexual orientation and gender identity with place, race, sex, religion, and disability. It will help you gain knowledge of LGBTQ audiences and resources. However, as in all interpretation, it is critical to remember that one publication can never speak for an entire community.

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