LGBTHeritageThe Kentucky LGBT Heritage Initiative would like to collect your stories and see your artifacts of LGBT life in Kentucky before 1980. It’s hosting a “History Harvest Reception” on Sunday, Jan. 31, at U of L’s Ekstrom Library and encouraging anyone who was a part of that time period to come share their stories and help identify historic places relevant to our state’s LGBT heritage.

The Initiative is a collaborative partnership between the Fairness Campaign, U of L’s Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, the Williams-Nichols Collection, the Kentucky Heritage Council, State Historic Preservation Office, and Preservation Louisville, and it’s the result of a matching grant from the National Park Service and U.S. Department of the Interior. Dr. Cate Fosl, director of the Anne Braden Institute, has been tapped as lead researcher for the project, and she will steer a team of oral historians to record stories and scan physical documents — like photos, newsletters and other artifacts.

If you have something you’d like to share, you don’t necessarily have to donate it to the cause. It will be scanned and recorded and then given back. According to a press release, the Kentucky LGBT Heritage Initiative hopes to compose a historic context narrative on the population in the state and propose at least three National Register nominations. The project will be completed later this year.

The “History Harvest Reception” on Sunday, Jan. 31, runs from 2-5 p.m. at U of L’s Archives and Special Collections room in the Ekstrom Library, 2301 S. Third St. To share photos, documents and stories directly with Dr. Fosl, email her at [email protected].

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle ( She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."