Online Security

April 24th, 2014

This week we learned about online security, which included how to protect your online accounts, what kind of data your online activities generate, and information about viruses such as the heart bleed virus that has been publicized recently.

I would say that my online activities are pretty safe and protected. All of my passwords for my various online accounts are different, and are never anything easy. As annoying as it can be to have to include numbers, letters, symbols, a hieroglyphic and the blood of a virgin included in every new password that a website has you create, it is definitely for a reason. All of my passwords are long and complex, I’m always super hesitant to download anything, I never enter my credit card information on anything that isn’t an organization that I am extremely familiar with, and I don’t visit websites that aren’t secure. But there’s only an extent to which you can protect yourself. Sometimes viruses, like the heart-bleed just find you. I think that ironically, technology enables us to be protected from other technology. Who hasn’t gotten an email along the lines of, “There’s a virus going around. This is ho it’s embedded. This is how it attacks you.”

My online activities generate a lot of different data, in a lot of different places and purposes. I have a lot of online work that has been published for the Human Rights Campaign’s website. I have written a lot of various poetry, prose, and spoken word that was just for my own enjoyment and has been published to mainly Tumblr, as a means of self expression and communication with others. I do a lot of researching, blogging, and creation on the internet. I also use it mainly for social interaction, such as Facebook and tumblr. The majority of the data that I generate is creative, and word based.

One thing that I found interesting about the NASA article is that they don’t actually look at your data, just your metadata. They’re simply looking for “trigger words” or “tip-offs of sorts” so that they can look for anything that might be problematic. It’s just the skeletons of what an online user is actually generating, not the actual content. Americans make such a big deal about the government invading their privacy, when they don’t actually know what the government is looking for.


As far as my project goes, I think I’m making good progress on it. I’m always finding new items to add to my site, but I’m honestly worried that my project is somehow going to fall short, or be missing something. Next week during class, I’m hoping to meet personally with Professor Hajar and do a check-in to see how I’m coming along, or if she has any suggestions to what I might want to add.



April 17th, 2014

I’ve had a little bit of trouble finding statistical data to interpret and put into a chart, because my topic isn’t really recorded in numbers. It’s especially hard to find data from the time period that involved LGBT people, since the government was trying not to draw attention tot he movement, or to the existence of such people. However, I did find a dataset that had recorded the percentages of self identified LGBT by state. People were surveyed in each state, and asked how they identified their sexual orientation. The data then shows what percentage of the total state population identifies as LGBT.

Through this research, you can clearly see that DC is the state (or district) that has the highest population of LGBT people, with a total of 10%. While this data is current, and not from the time period in which my research is directly focused on, it is still relevant to my topic because it shows the lasting impact of the movement in DC. Because District of Columbia is where the heart of the political side of the movement was born, this makes sense as to why the population is highest here. Clearly, the movement has accomplished something in present day places for LGBT people to feel safe and continue to reside.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 3.07.09 PM

As you can see in the chart, DC has a 10% LGBT population. To see the full chart, you can go to this link:

I’m going to continue searching for relevant data from the 1960s-1980s, when the movement was occurring, that might help to clarify my research question, but I thought that this was a decent start.

Omeka Exhibit

April 15th, 2014  Tagged , , , ,

I’ve still been a little bit confused about Omeka, but I think I’ve finally figured out the differences between exhibits, collections, and so on.

The exhibit that I am planning to create is about Frank Kameny, who was a huge contributor, and leader to the early LGBT Rights movement in DC. He was fired from his government job for being openly gay in the 1960s,and this led him to dedicate his life to the fight for equal rights. I plan to have him be the main focus of the exhibit, with sections about the Mattachine Society, and other people who worked closely with him. This will do a great job in answering my research question, because half of the question is dedicated to what Kameny contributed to the movement. He is what I’ve chosen to focus in on, since the LGBT movement is a proud topic.

I’m still re-organzing my Omeka site so that all of my items end up in a spot that uses them in the best way possible for my topic, but some of the items that I am planning on using are:

A brochure from Frank Kameny’s run for Congress:

A petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, in the case of Franklin Edward Kameny v. Wilber M. Bruckner, Secretary of the Army, et al., in which Kameny was fired form his job for being gay:

A passage from “Gay, Proud, and Healthy”, a statement regarding the psychiatric profession, by Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings: //

A Letter to President Lyndon Johnson, dated April 24, 1965, inquiring about a former employee who had been let go because of being gay: //

A radio broadcast of Frank Kameny talking about gays in the government:

A photograph of Frank Kameny:

I’ll probably find more items to add to this exhibit, especially when I add pages, because there is so much to include about Frank Kameny. These items will all work together to answer the question of who were some of the early contributors to the LGBT movement in DC, because these tell his story. They show his involvement and his impact on the movement from start to beginning. He was in involved in the political aspect of it, he started the protests, and he worked both grassroots, and upper level positions in the movement.

Week Ten

April 8th, 2014  Tagged , , ,

This week we played around with Ngram Viewer and Voyant, and learned about text mining. From what I experimented with, it was a bit overwhelming, but helpful. I had no idea that you could literally go “mining” for texts and narrow your results like that. I think that the tools are definitely valuable, and could really come in handy when you need to analyze a lot of material for specific things quickly. But honestly, we learn about so many different things in this class that I know I will never diligently use all of them in my daily life. Wordle was pretty cool, but it didn’t seem like something I would realistically use. I will probably start using Voyant, because it seems the most applicable.

This week I’ve made some good progress on my topic, and my project. I narrowed down my focus, and so now I know what I really need to be researching as opposed to just looking for random LGBT history things about DC. I’m now focusing on Frank Kameny and his contribution to the early movement, because it’s a better topic, and there’s a ton to learn about it, as well as a ton of information. I’ve added a couple good items to Omeka, because now I’m finding much better material.

Mapping Early LGBT History in DC

March 28th, 2014  Tagged , , , ,

Mapping the main points/events in my early LGBT history in DC research was a lot easier than I expected it to be. I especially like that I can show the route of the First National March on Washington for LGBT Rights, because it makes it more interactive. The map shows how spread out the history is, and that isn’t even all of the points that I could have included. That’s just a brief look at the historical events that I am focusing on in the movement.

Mapping my project actually provided a lot of insight into my research because it made me realize that I need to narrow the focus of my research question, which I did. It also made me dig deeper into what societies and organizations I need to include as part of my project. I had to do a lot more research on the Mattachine Society of Washington in order to include it on the map, and that lead me to realize that I wanted to make that organization a central part of my research project.

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 7.09.45 PM

Revising Research Question

March 28th, 2014  Tagged , , ,

I have realized through talking with Professor Caffatera, and from doing research myself that my initial question is much too broad. What I am choosing to focus on with the early LGBT movement in DC is the Mattachine Society (run by Frank Kamery), the first public protest for LGBT civil rights in front of the White House in 1965, and the First National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979.

My new research question is as follows: How did the first public protest for LGBT civil rights, led by Frank Kameny,  and the Mattachine Society contribute to the early LGBT movement in DC? How did this later progress into the development of the First National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights? What impact did these events leave on LGBT culture today?

Project Proposal

March 27th, 2014

The question that I have chosen to research is as follows: What role did Washington D.C. and the historic Dupont Circle area play in the early LGBT rights movement? I choose this topic, because I feel that the origins  and the general history of the LGBT movement are important to our nation’s history, and therefore the public should be informed about it. I myself , a member of the LGBT community, and someone who lives/works in DC, feel that I should learn more about the origins of the LGBT rights movement and how DC played a role in getting it off the ground.

The first source that I will be drawing primary source information from is a recording (or an audio scrapbook) from the first National March on Washington for LGBT Rights in 1979.  The program weaves together interviews, sound clips from the parade, including the train ride from Oakland to D.C. This source is very important because it provides a first hand look into actual recordings from that day, and from people who were there. This was the first major LGBT rights event that happened in DC and this recording provides really great information in a personal and firsthand way. It gives me a good basis.

Gordon, Greg, and Lucia Chapelle, prods. “The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.” Pacifica Radio. KZO941. 1980. Radio.

The second source that that I will be drawing primary information form is a firsthand account of the Stonewall Riots in New York City in July 1969. Even though my project is focused on how DC played a role in the LGBT Rights Movement, I have to know where the movement itself first started. I need this source to be a foundation for my research as a whole, so that I can understand how the movement even made it to DC. It is written as a personal narrative of the events of the Stonewall Riots by Lucian Truscott in 1979.

Truscott, Lucian, IV. “Gay Power Comes to Sheridan Square.” The Village Voice[Greenwich Village] 3 July 1979: n. pag. Print.

The third source that I will be pulling primary information from is an audio recording of the National March on Washington in 1980, which was the third national march of it’s kind. This march (and thus this recording) differed from the first one, because it truly shows how the movement has progressed and evolved. This march specifically deals with the issues of LGBT people being banned form the military with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and Ronald Reagan’s need to address the AIDS crisis. There were around one million people in attendance.

Freedman, Cindy. “National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights.” KPFK. Prod. Jon Beaupre. 25 Apr. 1993. Radio.

The fourth primary source that I will be using is a collection of photographs taken at the first national March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights in 1979. I feel as though it is very important to include photos of the first uprising in DC because it makes it more personal, and real. We can’t see the impact, or truly know how big it was, or how it affected the people just be reading about it, or hearing it. We have to see it with our own eyes. If I’m building a history project, I want my viewers to truly see what the March on Washington was and how grand of a movement it was.

Yates, Tom. “March on Washington Day.” (n.d.): n. pag. Rpt. in Rainbow History Project. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web.

The fifth primary source that I will be pulling information from is the Rainbow History Project’s collections. It will save time to simply cite the entire project’s collections, because I will probably be pulling a great deal of information from this website. They have primary sources from everything, every aspect of the LGBT movement in DC that I could ever want to know about. This will be a great source.

The first secondary source  that I will be using is a timeline of DC specific LGBT movement events. This will help me to pick out and research each big step in the early LGBT movement, and it will ensure that I do not leave anything out. This will guide me in stringing together my project a a whole, and direct me to further research.

“LGBT in Washington, DC: Our History.” Official Tourism Site of Washington DC. Destination DC, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.

The second secondary source that I will be using is a comprehensive list of all of the significant places in DuPont Circle that contributed something to or were a part of the DC LGBT Rights movement, and the support system for the movement. It’s not just the demonstrations that count as part of the movement. This will be an awesome resource for picking out exactly how DC was important to the LGBT movement, and not just on a big national scale. I also want to show how DC and specifically DuPont Circle became know as such as an LGBT friendly spot. It is important to bring recognition to each establishment that was important to the fight, every small LGBT support group from the time.

DuPont Circle.” (n.d.): n. pag. Rpt. in Rainbow History Project. Comp. Rainbow History Project. N.p.: Rainbow History Project, 2003. Web.

The third secondary source that I will be pulling information from is an article written about the first LGBT rights protest in front of the White House lead by Frank Kamery on April 17th, 1965. The article includes a firsthand testimony from Jack Nichols, who was at the protest. This source is important because it uses the words of somebody who was actually there, and this was the first real protest for the LGBT movement in DC, and the first LGBT civil rights demonstration in general. This protest was led by the Mattachine Society, which is important in itself.

Kohler, Will. “April 17, 1965 – 48 Years Ago Today Frank Kameny Led The First Gay Protest At The White House.” Back2Stonewall RSS. Back2Stonewall, 17 Apr. 2013. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.

The fourth secondary source that I will be pulling information from is an article published in Washington History about the gay community beginning to confront the civil service after being fired from their federal jobs due to their sexuality. This is an important part of the LGBT movement because the issue of gays in the government is what sparked the necessity for job protections from discrimination. It gives lots of good information, and it is a completely objective source, because it simply reports on what occurred.

Johnson, David K. “”Homosexual Citizens”: Washington’s Gay Community Confronts the Civil Service.” Washington History 6.2, HSW Centennial Edition (1994): 44-63. JSTOR. Web. 27 Mar. 2014. <>.

Copyright Issues

February 25th, 2014  Tagged ,

This week in class we learned about the basic of copyright issues, and fair sharing of digitized information. The question that has been presented in wether or not the Calvin and Hobbes comic in the headers of the syllabus violates copyright laws or not. At first, I assumed that it did not, because a digital historian would not knowingly violate copyright laws. Upon further investigation of the copyright laws of Calvin and Hobbes comics, I discovered that it depends on the year that each comic was published. Calvin and Hobbes was a daily comic strip that was published from 1985 to 1995. Bill Watterson, the creator and artist, fought a long battle to prevent the comic strip from being merchandized, which led to a lot of bootlegging. However, the comic strip series is now registered with Universal Uclick Reprints, and it can be used without permission for all educational purposes, but only in the classroom itself. You can use up to seven comics a year without payment under the fair use policy, but if you need more than seven, you have to pay. Calvin and Hobbes comics can be used in educational purposes for syllabi, overheads, reprinted on tests or exams, passed out for sharing during lectures, or other uses that are strictly IN the classroom.

Using these comics on the syllabus of this website both violates and does not violate copyright laws, because it is is used is a syllabus, however, Calvin and Hobbes comics are not supposed to be reprinted online, on webpages, on the internet, or e-mailed. Because it is an online syllabus, technically it does violate copyright laws.

Final Project

February 19th, 2014  Tagged , , , , ,

Based on what we discussed in class today, I plan on further exploring my topic about The LGBT Movement and History in DC. I think that this will be the most interesting topic for me to research, and the one that I will be the most passionate about exploring more deeply. LGBT issues and history need to be brought to the forefront of study, and perhaps my research could help other people become more informed.

The next step in researching this topic is compiling actual research. I need to decide what years of history I really want to focus on, primarily the starting date, and figure out where the movement really began. I need to create a rough outline of what I want to discover through my research. The movement for LGBT rights truly began with the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York City. I need to figure out what happened in DC in response to that, and what the first demonstration in for LGBT rights in DC was. I need to compile a list of potential resources to look through, such as pulling links from The Library of Congress, Diijo, Google searches, the GMU library databases, and so forth. Essentially, I just need to begin my research with very basic searches in various databases.

DC History Topics

February 13th, 2014  Tagged , , , , ,

The topic that I am the most interested in researching is the history of the LGBT rights movement in DC. The movement didn’t truly begin until the late 1960s, and I know about a handful of things that occurred, such as a march on Washington to show support for Stonewall in NYC, and various other protests of the same nature. But I know that far more has occurred between the time that the movement went public, and now. I would like to know where the movement first began. I don’t even know what sparked the first event that brought LGBT issues into the public eye of DC. I think that this is a very important topic to me specifically, because I am an LGBT person working for the Human Rights Campaign and continuing the movement that others began. I should know all of the ins and outs of LGBT history, especially in DC because that’s where a vast chunk of it has taken place. I think that LGBT history is an important topic for everybody regardless of sexual orientation, because one day LGBT history will be very similar to the history of Civil Rights for African American. To begin learning more about this topic, I plan to utilize some of the databases that we learned about in class with our guest speaker. In my first search through the archives we discussed, I found an audio program composed of sound clips from the first national march on Washington for LGBT rights in 1987. I strongly plan to continue this research, and there is so much to learn. LGBT history is one of the few facets of LGBT issues that I have yet to fully become knowledgeable about.


I am also interested in the history of the Peace Corps, as it is a great organization that does under appreciated work. I plan to volunteer in the Peace Corps in between undergraduate and grad school, so I feel like understanding the history will help me get a better understanding for all that the organization does in general. The headquarters are in DC, and all of the legislation around it has been done through DC. Even if I don’t end up using it for a final research project, I think it’s important for everyone to know about all of the great work that these volunteers do and have done. I search for the history of the peace corps in the Library of Congress, and I found so many different links from that one search alone. I found the Peace Corps digital library, where volunteers can share their stories and photos and such. The photo below is of a volunteer dancing with children in Lesotho! peace corps


A third potential topic of interest is the history surrounding the historic neighborhood of Dupont Circle. I work in Dupont Circle, and it is one of my favorite places in DC. I am very well aware that this is a historic area, due to all of the monuments, the architecture, and hearing it talked about by others. But I, and probably many of my peers, do not actually know WHY this area is so historic. I would very much like to learn more, as it is an important part of my city, and of my nation’s capital. I have very very limited knowledge about the history of Dupont Circle, so I would probably begin with very basic searches, like in the Mason online library, and in the library of congress. I did a quick basic search, and I have already learned that it is historic largely due to the architecture, and for it’s unique layout of benches, grassy areas, and small parks among the busy streets of the city. It is also an important place for LGBT history, so this topic is related to my main topic idea.