Photography By: Charlie Chipman
Photography By: Charlie Chipman

Celebrate the Desert’s LGBTQ+ History During Palm Springs Pride This November

Palm Springs Gears Up to Host a Colorful Celebration of the Desert’s LGBTQ+ History This November

Greater Palm Springs Pride will celebrate its 35th year in the Coachella Valley with a parade, festival and vendor marketplace from Nov. 1-7, 2021. As part of the festivities, a recently formed organization, LGBTQ+ History and Archives of the Desert, will host a free exhibit called “Sharing Our Desert’s LGBTQ+ History.” David Gray, one of the co-founders of this organization, says, “This is our way of introducing ourselves to the community and educating people.”


A Capsule in Time

When it became obvious that a lot of the LGBTQ history of the desert was being lost, Gray knew something needed to be done to preserve it, thus LGBTQ+ History and Archives of the Desert was formed. “The purpose of this organization is to make sure that we preserve our LGBTQ+ history,” says Gray. The project is about finding sources of reliable information and documenting it. “This exhibit will highlight various events, organizations, and individuals over the course of time throughout the 20th century up until the present day that contributed to the LGBTQ+ story in the Greater Palm Springs area,” he explains. “But it will be much more detailed from the 1970s on.” There is information that predates this, he says, but his organization has gotten more documentation from that decade to today. “The modern LGBTQ movement began in 1969,” says Gray. “There is some history that took place previously, but it’s not well documented and not as publicly known.”


Why You Should Go

Gray says that the exhibition is designed to spotlight the history of the desert that has made it such a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community. “There will be a chronological history of events, individuals and organizations  with corresponding memorabilia, publications and souvenir items from stores, inns, bars, restaurants and individuals.” He adds that people will learn a lot from their organization’s exhibit. They are also working with the Palm Springs Public Library and Palm Springs Historical Society to collect LGBTQ+ artifacts relevant to the desert  and make it accessible to the greater Coachella Valley.

Seeking Memorabilia

“Some individuals have reached out to us, and that’s how we’ve gotten the items that we have so far,” says Gray. “But people would like to see a much more vibrant collection.” The organization would like to have a small museum with more items to show in the future. In fact, it’s actively seeking LGBTQ treasures and memorabilia from individuals and businesses if they meet the criteria of what they’re collecting. If you have something you believe to be relevant, please contact the organization via email at

Come learn about LGBTQ+ history in the desert at this free exhibit!

Thursday, Nov 4 from 6-8 p.m.
Friday, Nov 5 and Saturday, Nov 6 from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov 7, noon-5:30 p.m.

Welwood Murray Memorial Library
100 S Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262

+ posts

Lynne Eodice is an accomplished writer & photographer. She is the former Features Editor for Petersen’s PHOTOgraphic magazine, and has contributed her writing and/or editorial expertise to Photographer’s Forum, Rangefinder,, California Tour & Travel, Family Photo and Adorama’s Learning Center. She is also the author of Photos That Inspire: Photo Workshop, an instructional book that’s illustrated with more than 200 images by various photographers, published by Wiley & Sons.

+ posts


12 Waterfront Restaurants in Orange County With Unforgettable Views
Make a Splash at the 16 Coolest Pools in Greater Palm Springs
Bare It All: Here Are 8 of the Best Nude Resorts in California
Poolside or Ocean Views? 8 Sunny Spots to Sip Cocktails This Summer



Related Content

Skip to content