exhibition slideshow
A History of QUEER:

Selections from the St. Louis LGBT History Project

Curated by Steven L. Brawley

On View
January 25 through March 1, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014, from 7-10PM


It seems there’s more in your hairdresser’s closet than Nordstrom sweaters and fabulous shoes. In recent years, the St. Louis LGBT community has been busy rummaging through its closets, attics, and steamer trunks, salvaging bits and pieces of its lost queer history. Before long, a collection of artifacts and images was surfacing that began to tell the story of gay and lesbian activists, leather men, porn stars, and drag queens, many of whom lived secretly in the shadows. In 2007, Steven L. Brawley saw a need to assemble this random hoard of oddities and memorabilia so he founded the St. Louis LGBT History Project. “I started the Project because I was sad to see our community elders dying off - their stories untold and personal artifacts thrown away. I knew as an LGBT community we had to do something to preserve our very own special queer history - a history that was largely unknown.”

Today, under Brawley’s stewardship, the Project has grown into a comprehensive collection of historical treasures which provides a window into 50 years of St. Louis LGBT history. So significant is the Project’s stockpile, that the Missouri History Museum has agreed to take over conservatorship of select items from the collection in Spring of 2014. Before the items go into archival storage, however, PHD Gallery hosts: A History of Queer: Selections from the St. Louis LGBT History Project, curated by Steven L. Brawley. The exhibition is on view January 25 through March 1, 2014 and opens with a gala reception Saturday, January 25, from 7-10PM. Although the exhibit is free, your $10 donation helps support the Project.


Founded in 2007, the St. Louis LGBT History Project's mission is to preserve and promote the diverse and dynamic history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community of Greater St. Louis.

The Project offers walking tours, a speaker’s bureau, conservation advice, exhibits, and educational programs highlighting regional LGBT history. The Project hosts community “treasure drives” to collect items from St. Louis’ vanishing queer past.

“People from all walks of life are embracing our efforts to document the important role that the LGBT community has played throughout St. Louis’ 250 year history,” says Steven L. Brawley, Founder of the St. Louis LGBT History Project.

The Project is a volunteer-based organization with leadership provided by Steven L. Brawley, Ian Darnell, Colin Murphy, and many others who have donated their time and rare artifacts.

In 2013, the Project was named the “Community Organization Icon” by Vital Voice and received the Jim Hoefer Award from Pride St. Louis, Inc. The Project has been a reference source for regional and national media outlets.

The State Historical Society of Missouri and the Missouri History Museum serve as the Project’s archival partners, providing preservation resources and public access to donated items.

The Project receives fiscal sponsorship through the LGBT Center of St. Louis, making all donations tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

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