Making Roanoke More Inclusive One Step at a Time

On February 9, 2020 local television station WFXR attended our Old Southwest Gayborhood Walking Tour and reported on the tour and the importance of our local LGBTQ history to contemporary struggles in the Star City. Check it out! Ryan Moye,…

Once Hidden, Black LGBT Community in Southwest Virginia Finds Its Voice

The Roanoke Times has published a groundbreaking article about Roanoke’s Black LGBTQ community and the work of The QTPOC Project: Representation Matters, an initiative of the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project. Several members of the QTPOC Project spoke with the Times about…

Public Historian Gregory Samantha Rosenthal on Lesbian Cat Fiction and a Collected Past in the Roanoke LGBT Memorial Library

This summer project member Dr. Gregory Samantha Rosenthal sat down with Book City Roanoke to talk about the Roanoke LGBT Memorial Library and our project’s efforts at preserving and interpreting LGBTQ history in Roanoke. Check it out! Book City Roanoke,…

Partnership and Publicly Engaged Humanities Work

The National Humanities Alliance has published a new essay on their Humanitiesforall.org website that features the work of the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project. Check it out: Daniel Fisher, “Partnership and Publicly Engaged Humanities Work,” Humanitiesforall.org, August 1, 2019.

Lasting Legacy: What Stonewall Means in the South

Dr. Gregory Samantha Rosenthal wrote an essay for WUSSY, an online magazine of Southern queer arts, politics, and culture, on interconnected legacies of LGBTQ history and white supremacy. Check it out: Gregory Samantha Rosenthal, “Lasting Legacy: What Stonewall Means in the…

On Archiving and Honoring Virginia’s Long Gay Histories

Tiffany Stevens has written a wonderful piece about the work of the Tidewater Queer History Project and the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project for Scalawag magazine. Check it out! Tiffany Stevens, “On Archiving and Honoring Virginia’s Long Gay Histories,” Scalawag, March 18,…

The Lost Queer World of Roanoke, Virginia

On February 8, 2019, With Good Reason, a public radio program produced by Virginia Humanities, released a new episode called “How to Go Clubbing,” which features an 11-minute segment on “The Lost Queer World of Roanoke, Virginia” produced by Cass Adair….

Blue Ridge Free State – 4: MDC – Marcin Dishes Candidly

Local journalist and podcaster Mason Adams spoke about Roanoke’s LGBTQ history, interviewed Deanna Marcin about her time working at the Backstreet Cafe, and references the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project, in episode 4 of his new podcast, Blue Ridge Free State….

Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project

The National Humanities Alliance has launched Humanitiesforall.org, a website showcasing over 1,400 publicly-engaged humanities projects across the country. The Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project was chosen as one of 51 projects nationwide to be profiled as an exemplary project. Check…

Roanoke Made Me Queer Again

Dr. Gregory Rosenthal has written an essay about the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project and how the project’s oral history initiative, specifically documenting trans oral histories, has transformed their recognition of their own gender identity. Read more here: Gregory Rosenthal,…

Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project

Roanoke College Work-Study Research Assistant Beth Janes has written the following essay about her experiences working with the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project during the 2017-2018 Academic Year. Beth Janes, “Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project,” RC Research, April 30, 2018.

How Communities Pathologized Sex Workers

Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project co-leader RM Barton—who is a monthly contributor to WUSSY, an online magazine of queer + Southern arts, politics, and culture, based in Atlanta—has published a new piece that looks at the history of sex workers and…

Deploying Digital Technology to “Make Roanoke Queer Again”

Dr. Gregory Rosenthal of the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project gave a talk on “Digital History and Queer Voices” at Washington & Lee University on February 1, 2018. Jenny Bagger, a Digital Humanities (DH) Undergraduate Fellow at Washington & Lee,…

Double Edged Sword: Queer Activism in the Internet Age

Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project co-leader RM Barton—who is a monthly contributor to WUSSY, an online magazine of queer + Southern arts, politics, and culture, based in Atlanta—has published a new piece that looks at the internet and how it has…

Roanoke LGBT Library Finds Home as Research Collection in Roanoke Diversity Center

The Roanoke Times wrote a great piece about the Roanoke LGBT Memorial Library and our 16-month effort to preserve, maintain, and create an online catalog of the library’s contents. Check it out! Tiffany Stevens, “Roanoke LGBT Library finds home as…

Old Southwest Gayborhood Walking Tour Sheds Light on Roanoke’s LGBTQ History

Rachel has written this great essay on queer neighborhood history and the Old Southwest Gayborhood Walking Tour, for GayRVA.com, an online magazine out of Richmond, Virginia. Check it out! Rachel Barton, “Old Southwest Gayborhood Walking Tour Sheds Light on Roanoke’s LGBTQ…

Intersectional Activism & Early Gay Liberation in Southwest Virginia

Project co-leader Rachel Barton is now a contributing writer for WUSSY, an online magazine of queer + Southern arts, politics, and culture, based out of Atlanta. Rachel wrote this piece on the history of gay liberation in Southwest Virginia in…

Local Group Celebrates Anniversary of a Special Walking Tour

Reporter Bianca Holman of WDBJ7 stopped by the Downtown Roanoke LGBTQ History Walking Tour this weekend to document the first anniversary of our walking tours. Check out her story below: Bianca Holman, “Local group celebrates anniversary of a special walking…

Queer Art, Queer History, and Queer Activism

Rachel Barton has written a wonderful essay about the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project’s arts initiative, published in GayRVA.com, an online LGBTQ magazine based in Richmond, Virginia. Check it out! Rachel Barton, “Queer Art, Queer History, and Queer Activism: Using the…

Who Needs Gay Books?

Dr. Gregory Rosenthal has written an essay for WUSSY, an online magazine of queer + Southern arts, politics, and culture, about the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project’s work on the Roanoke LGBT Memorial Library. Check it out! Gregory Rosenthal, “Who Needs…

Roanoke’s Gay Bar Scene Will Never Be the Same

The research of the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project was featured in a recent article in Munchies—a project of Vice—about the decline of queer spaces in Roanoke, Virginia. Check it out: Mason Adams, “Roanoke’s Gay Bar Scene Will Never Be the Same,” Munchies (online…

Transmural: A Queer Space in Rural Virginia

In spring 2017, three seniors at Washington & Lee University produced the multimedia documentary “Transmural: A Queer Space in Rural Virginia,” which features text and videos about transgender history and contemporary transgender experiences in Roanoke, Virginia. The students interviewed Dr. Gregory Rosenthal…

Equal Time with Andrea Hilton

Dr. Gregory Rosenthal visited Washington & Lee University as a guest on the hour-long radio show Equal Time hosted by Andrea Hilton. They discussed the ongoing work of the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project. Andrea Hilton interviewing Gregory Rosenthal, “Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+…

Gentrification and Queer Erasure in Roanoke, Virginia

Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project volunteer and Roanoke College alum Rachel Barton has written a fabulous essay, accompanied by an interactive version of our downtown walking tour, reflecting on Roanoke’s queer history and the effects of gentrification on the erasure of queer spaces. This was published in…

Volunteers Working to Make LGBTQ Library More Accessible to Public

Reporter Sara Machi of WDBJ7 stopped by the Roanoke Diversity Center to interview some of our LGBTQ+ History Project volunteers who have been working on the preservation and digitization of the Roanoke LGBT Memorial Library, a 2,700-volume collection that has been slowly…

Responses to “Make Roanoke Queer Again”

History@Work, the official blog of the National Council on Public History, has featured a series of essays this spring responding to Dr. Gregory Rosenthal’s article “Make Roanoke Queer Again,” which discussed the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project and was published…

Virginia May Be Getting First LGBT Historical Marker in Roanoke

Sara Machi from WDBJ7 attended our Historical Marker forum at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke on March 22, 2017. This event was the kick-off for a campaign to research and apply for an official state historical marker on the site of The Trade…

Make Roanoke Queer Again

Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project co-founder Dr. Gregory Rosenthal has written an academic article about the History Project, discussing the intersections of queer history and urban history in Roanoke. It has been published in the nation’s leading public history journal, The Public…

Reclaiming Queer Historical Space

Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project co-founder Dr. Gregory Rosenthal wrote an essay about queer history and gentrification in Roanoke for the official blog of the National Council on Public History. Check it out! Gregory Rosenthal, “Reclaiming Queer Historical Space,” History@Work (blog),…

LGBTQ History Walking Tour Guides People through Roanoke’s Gay Scene

A reporter from local television station WFXR attended the Downtown Roanoke LGBTQ History Walking Tour on Sunday January 22 and reported on our project. Paris Holmes, “LGBTQ History Walking Tour guides people through Roanoke’s gay scene,” WFXR News, January 22,…

Developing our Queer Historical Consciousness

Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project co-founder Dr. Gregory Rosenthal gave the sermon at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke on Sunday, November 6, 2016. The title of this sermon was “Developing our Queer Historical Consciousness.” The audio is available below. Fast-forward…

Exploring Roanoke’s Queer Past

Roanoke College sophomore and Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project Work-Study Research Assistant Haleigh Ardolino has had an essay published in the “Perspectives from the Field” blog of the Virginia Association of Museums. Haleigh writes about the launch of the new Downtown…

Queer Coffeeshop Talk

Dr. Gregory Rosenthal gave a “coffeeshop talk” at Mill Mountain coffeehouse on Main Street in Salem, Virginia on September 1. The title of the talk was “Queer History after Orlando.” Roanoke College’s student newspaper, The Brackety-Ack, reported on the event: Drew Luther, “Queer…

Sex and Storytelling in the Star City

Roanoke College senior and Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project Work-Study Research Assistant Shannon Mace had an article published this summer in Unite Virginia magazine about our archives and oral history initiatives! Check it out: Shannon Mace, “Sex and Storytelling in the…

Gay Community Coalesces

Research provided by the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project was featured in the fourth issue of Discover: History & Heritage, a magazine put out by the Roanoke Times. We got a whole page dedicated to the topic of Roanoke’s gay community in the 1970s!…

History Project Strives to Empower Southwest Virginia LGBT Community

Amy Friedenberger of the Roanoke Times has written a substantial article about the LGBTQ+ History Project. She embedded with our project for two weeks in late April. Read the full article below. Amy Friedenberger, “History project strives to empower Southwest Virginia LGBT community,” The…

Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project Well Underway

Roanoke College senior Olivia Rhodin has written an essay about the ongoing work of the LGBTQ+ History Project for PRISM Magazine. Check it out: Olivia Rhodin, “Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project Well Underway,” PRISM Foundation Magazine 1, no. 4 (Winter…

Southwest Virginia LGBT History Comes Alives

David Garland has written a fabulous essay about the LGBTQ+ History Project for the latest issue of Informative Q magazine. Check it out: David Garland, “Southwest Virginia LGBT History Comes Alive,” Informative Q (December 2015): 10-11.

Panel Reflects on Change to Roanoke 15 Years After Backstreet Shooting

Our first History Project event, a forum with LGBTQ+ community members and activists at The Park, was featured the next day in the local newspaper. Read the full article below. Amy Friedenberger, “Panel Reflects on change to Roanoke 15 years after Backstreet shooting,” The Roanoke Times, September…