A Queer Look at Brooklyn

Center for Brooklyn History
This exhibition was originally organized and published by the Brooklyn Historical Society.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the student interns that make up BHS's Teen Council focus on the LGBTQ history of Brooklyn.

The stories chosen by this year’s Teen Council stretch back to the time of Walt Whitman, who published his first edition of Leaves of Grass in 1855 in the Rome Brothers’ print shop in Brooklyn Heights, through the early 2000s, when a collective called DUMBA gave LGBTQ artists and activists a home in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Each of the five stories featured in the exhibition explores themes of race, class, activism, health, and community.

As budding historians, the Teen Council interns conducted extensive research in BHS's library and archives, using primary sources like the AIDS/Brooklyn Oral History Project collection. They also conducted their own interviews with the founders of Circle of Voices, a non-profit organization of Womyn of African Descent and Womyn of Color, and with Debbie Griffin-Daza, the anti-violence activist and former co-owner of the Starlite Lounge.