Learn more about important topics and issues in our community’s history—and meet folks with shared interests—by attending thought-provoking and lively events offered throughout the year.

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Upcoming events

D.C. Spaces of LGBTQ Liberation (1970-2000) Espacios de Liberacion LBGTQ

Wednesday, September 13 | 6:00 pm

Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library
3160 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20010

Join us for a community archival photo and object show, a panel, and a drag performance. // Lxs invitamos para una mesa redonda, una muestra de fotos y objetos históricos, y un performance de drag.

Highlighting the ways that Black and Latinx LGBTQ communities in D.C. have fostered informal spaces of liberation and community in the 70s, 80s and 90s, through dance parties, university activism, and drag collectives. // Resaltando cómo varios grupos crearon espacios liberatorios LGBTQ en DC en las 70, 80s y 90s.

Panel discussion with / Mesa redonda con:

  • Rev. Dr. Rainey Cheeks, former manager at the Clubhouse espacio
  • Ms. Marilyn Sulay, Miss Mexico USA 1999
  • Mx. Ricky Rosé, DC Drag Community Changemaker 2023
  • Dr. Robert Michael Vanzant, co-founder of Howard University’s LGBTQ+ organization 1980
  • Mx. LJ Johnson, former president of Howard University’s LGBTQ+ organization, 2022
  • Photos / Fotos from the Jose Gutierrez ArchivesDrag performance by / por: King Flirty Rico

Musica by: DJ Cybersyn and DJ Mothersheister, amplifying music that was played through these three historic spaces.

Free and open to the public. GRATIS

Se proporciona interpretación en Español y Ingles // Spanish y English interpretation provided

Niñes y jovenes bienvenides. Kids are welcome.

Please wear masks while not eating or drinking. // Favor de usar mascara cuando no consumiendo

Hosted / Organizado por Kristy, José Gutierrez, and LJ Johnson with support from DCPL and The Mt. Pleasant Library Friends

Archive Activism with Charles Francis

Thursday, September 21 | 6:00 pm

DC History Center
801 K Street NW
Washington, D.C.

In his recent memoir, author Charles Francis recounts his life, from growing up gay in Dallas during the 1950s and 1960s to defining Archive Activism for LGBTQ civic equality. Join Charles at the DC History Center on Thursday, September 21, for a conversation about his new book: Archive Activism: Memoir of a “Uniquely Nasty” Journey. He’ll be in conversation with Kerrie Cotten Williams, Manuscript Division’s Reference and Reader Services, Library of Congress.

Archive Activism tells the story of Francis’ archival adventures, from helping Frank Kameny preserve the Frank Kameny papers, now at the Library of Congress, to uncovering the treatment of LGBTQ individuals at St. Elizabeths Hospital (for the Insane). He concludes with his “Unclassified Principles of Archive Activism.” The first principle: “Think historically in the archive, not only politically in the news.”

Copies of Archive Activism will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Learn more and register.

WalkingTown DC: Queering Capitol Hill historic LGBTQ neighborhood walking tour

Saturday, September 23 | 1:00 pm

Eastern Market Metro stop
Street level

As part of WalkingTown DC, Rainbow History Project will offer its popular Queering Capitol Hill Historic LGBTQ Neighborhood Walking Tour.

For more than 70 years, Capitol Hill has been a social and residential center for Washington’s LGBTQ community, with bars and clubs, youth services and innovative women’s businesses.

Led by Philip Clark, historian and writer, this tour will explore the impact of radical lesbian separatists, First Amendment fights, the underpinning of LGBTQ religious organizations, and interactions with Marines and the Marine Barracks among other stories. The tour lasts about two hours.

Registration with WalkingTown DC required.


Dupont Circle historic LGBTQ neighborhood walking tour

Saturday, October 28 | 1:00 pm

Meet in Dupont Circle at the fountain.

Dupont Circle has long been among D.C.’s most prominent LGBTQ neighborhoods—a place where a significant number of LGBTQ people lived, gathered in celebration, sadness, party and protest, did business and socialized in welcoming stores and restaurants. How did this happen and when? Is Dupont Circle still known as a “gayborhood”? What has driven change over the past six decades? The tour lasts about 90 minutes.

Tour leader Jeff Donahoe is a longtime Rainbow History Project member with interests in oral history and social geography.

Registration appreciated but not required.

The tour is offered free of charge. Donations to RHP are welcome.


Past events

Learn more about our public panels and programs. Many of our past public panels and programs have been recorded on video and are available for viewing on the RHP YouTube channel.

Walking tours

Get to know historic LGBTQ neighborhoods with guided or self-guided walking tours.

Become a volunteer

Rainbow History Project is an all-volunteer organization and we encourage you to get involved. We always need volunteers to help grow our collection and develop public programs.