For my digital project, I am planning on doing a mapping project using HistoryPin to map queer history in the United States. Many young people are interested in finding out more about queer history as they start to figure out their own identity, but sometimes it can be overwhelming to do the research or find accurate information. I believe that it would be incredibly helpful to have a resource where you can see major events in queer history, like the Stonewall Riots, Harvey Milk’s life and assassination, and gay marriage being legalized. Being able to see this mapped out would be useful in showing where the fight for gay rights has taken place, and help people feel more connected to the history and the places where these watershed events happened.
I’m a visual learner, so for me it would be helpful to have a map as a starting point for historical events. A map would also be very user friendly to a younger audience, especially if they aren’t willing to get very invested in long articles. The content of the blurbs on the events will ideally be pretty brief and easy to read, and possibly link to longer articles about the event either on the same website as the pin (like on PhilaPlace) or articles from other website. That way viewers are able to easily navigate the information while having the chance to take a deeper dive.
I plan to include the most important information in the actual blurb, primarily who, what, when, where, and why (and maybe how). I’m envisioning something similar to what the first paragraph of a wikipedia article would be.
It’s important to include a variety of events on this map, especially in considering which ones I will pilot for this project. Although there have recently been many notable positive strides for gay rights and great things happening for queer visibility (gay marriage being legalized, RuPaul’s Drag Race winning several Emmys, a gay man running for president), most of queer history has not been so positive or progressive. Landmark court cases, violence against queer people, the HIV/AIDs epidemic, and discrimination are all important parts of the queer story, and will help young people understand their identity more completely. Young, queer people still undoubtedly face hardships, but the representation and the acceptance that has happened even in the last ten years is because of all of the work that has gone into achieving visibility and fighting for gay rights. Having a user friendly resource to start learning queer history will be a great starting point for those who want to know more about the struggles queer people have faced and strides we have made.