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.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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