Newly-formed organization aims to tell story of area’s LGBTQ+ history, seeks collection items

The newly formed LGBTQ+ History & Archives of the Desert will hold its inaugural exhibition, titled “Sharing Our Desert’s LGBTQ+ History,” during the November Pride celebration, and it’s looking for your contributions.

The exhibition, an official event of Palm Springs Pride, will be held for free at the Welwood Murray Memorial Library in downtown Palm Springs, located at 100 S. Palm Canyon Drive, at the following times:

  • Thursday, November 4, from 6 PM until 8 PM
  • Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6, from 10 AM until 5:30 PM
  • Sunday, November 7, from 12 PM until 5:30 PM

The exhibition is designed to chronicle the history of events, organizations, and individuals that made the greater Palm Springs area one of the best-known LGBTQ+ locations in the world. It also seeks to explain why the city is such a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community.

That question is at the center of the organization’s formation, which dates back to 2019 when a small group of formed The LGBTQ+ History & Archives of the Desert.

“When it became obvious that the LGBTQ+ history of the Palm Springs area was not very well documented and even being lost,” says David Gray, Co-Founder, “I knew something needed to be done to preserve our local LGBTQ+ history for future generations.”

Working with the Palm Springs Public Library and the Palm Springs Historical Society, the organization’s members are trying to collect, preserve and make accessible the LGBTQ+ History of the Greater Palm Springs Area within the Coachella Valley, Gray said.

Currently, the group is focusing on documenting and preserving that history, and sharing it with LGBTQ+ individuals, organizations, allies, and the public. Group members are currently looking for documents and memorabilia from bars, inns, restaurants, publications, LGBT organizations, and individuals.

Help out: If you have any LGBTQ+ treasures in your garage, attic, closet or storage area and would like to donate them, please contact the organization by email at [email protected]. You can also follow them on Facebook.

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