Knowledge of the past and an understanding of the events and issues of the present are crucial to promoting community and understanding. The Vermont Queer Archives at RU12? aims to contribute to this knowledge by forming a collection encompassing the experiences of LGBTIQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexed, Questioning individuals and their Allies) Vermonters, both past and present.
The Archives will collect, preserve and promote the history and culture of sexually diverse communities, including documents, objects, and ephemera from individuals and organizations. The collections will be accessible to anyone who wishes to use them. The Archives will also actively use these collections to increase visibility, awareness, knowledge and community-building throughout the state.
The Archives are always planning new exhibits. Check back soon for more information. If you wish to get involved with the Archives project, contact us at 802.860.7812 or e-mail email@example.com.
The Dialogue Project
The Dialogue Project is an oral history and art exhibit intended to create and open up dialogue not only between LGBTQ Vermonters but across all communities. This exhibit is a celebration of LGBTQ experiences past and present and includes excerpts from interviews; pieces from the Vermont Queer Archive collection and interpretive artwork.
In 2005 two Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) youth groups were asked what they wanted to know from their LGBTQ elders. Questions from the youth at Outright Vermont and the University of Vermont's Free to Be Student Group included, "Did religion or faith play a role in how you viewed your sexuality?" "How do you view younger queer folk and do you feel any responsibility toward them?" and "What is your perspective on the portrayal of LGBTQ people in the media and entertainment industry?" Fourteen Vermonters over the age of 50 answered the questions from the youth. These interviews were recorded and ten local Vermont artists were asked to make interpretive art pieces of the recorded interviews.
In 2007 the second phase of this project was begun and turned the cycle giving LGBTQ elders the opportunity to ask queer youth about their lives. Some questions that the LGBTQ elder group at the RU12? Community Center posed to youth included: "Do you see identifying as LGBTQ as a civil rights issue?" "What has the impact of HIV/AIDS had on your life?" "Would your coming out process be different if you did not have the internet?" and "What do you expect your life to be like when you are 65?"
This is the first project documenting the lives and contributions of LGBTQ elders and youth in Vermont. RU12? is proud to sponsor a project that brings to life the stories of Vermont's gay rights pioneers such as state Rep. Bill Lippert and women's activists Peggy Luhrs and Euan Bear. This exhibit also includes stories of LGBTQ people growing up in local Vermont communities spanning from the 1940s to the 1980s.
The recorded interviews are available for educational use through RU12? Community Center's Vermont Queer Archives and copies are also housed and available at The Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury, Vermont.
If you would like to see this exciting project exhibited in your community please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.