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. <>.

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