Rainbow History Project’s mission is to collect, preserve and promote the history and culture of the LGBTQ community in metropolitan Washington, D.C. As part of fulfilling this mission, Rainbow History offers in-person and virtual discussions and interviews that share the rich history of LGBTQ Washington.
A program with D.C. resident and researcher Brian Miller illustrated all three legs of RHP’s mission. Miller and Vincent E. Slatt, RHP’s director of archiving, chatted about his research on the Gay Liberation Front of Washington, D.C. GLF started in New York as the first radical group to form in response to the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York; the first GLF meetings in Washington took place in 1970.
Watch a video of the program.
The anchor of the talk was Miller’s book Here Because We’re Queer: Inside the Gay Liberation Front of Washington, D.C., 1970-1972, a history-memoir published in 2020. Miller drew from his direct experiences in GLF-DC as well as archival research. He began to document the group’s activities and preserve the memories of its participants after attending an April 1993 reunion of fellow GLF-DC activists. Watch a recording of the gathering.
Miller’s extensive collection of GLF-DC materials includes scores of folders of documents, transcripts, news clippings, photographs and court records, as well as oral history interviews with more than 60 people. In 2022, Miller donated his entire research collection to the Rainbow History Project. It is now available at the DC History Center as part of MS 0764 RHP: Series XXIX: Brian F. Miller GLF-DC Collection.
In the introduction to Here Because We’re Queer Miller writes: “Although [GLF-DC] faded quickly, its attendees established an openly gay community and helped start some long-lasting institutions in Washington—Capital Pride, Whitman-Walker Health, the Metropolitan Community Church and Lambda Rising bookstore, to name a few.”
In 2014, Miller, along with other GLF-DC members Nancy Tucker, Michael Yarr and Kent Jarratt participated in RHP’s public panel, ‘Gay Power to Gay People:’ The Gay Liberation Front-DC. Watch the panel on RHP’s YouTube page.
Here Because We’re Queer is available wherever you get your books.