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New Exhibit Depicts Struggle, Triumphs Of San Diego’s LGBTQ Community

Curator Lillian Faderman stands next to the community quilt at the San Diego ...

Photo by Kris Arciaga

Above: Curator Lillian Faderman stands next to the community quilt at the San Diego History Center on July 12, 2018.

LGBTQ+ San Diego: Stories Of Struggle and Triumphs is a new exhibit at the San Diego History Center. It features artifacts, photographs and memorabilia representing both persecution and victories the community experienced. The curator is Lillian Faderman, a well-known gay rights author and scholar.

“We want to trace that history. We want to show how, for so long, people had to hide who they were. They had to hide their love, they had to hide the most important parts of their lives, and how they slowly learned to not feel shame,” Faderman said.

Photo by Kris Arciaga

A timeline from the LGBTQ+ San Diego: Stories Of Struggle and Triumphs exhibit at the San History Center on July 12, 2018.

Hanging near the entrance of the exhibit is a section of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. It memorializes San Diegans who died of AIDS.On another wall, there is a community quilt made of small sheets of paper. Each one has a message written by a visitor to someone they knew personally who died of AIDS or was a victim of anti-LGBTQ violence.

There is also a large timeline showing many of the archival photographs, depicting the many struggles and triumphs through the decades.

Faderman said, “I think we have really succeeded in getting through to large portions of San Diegans that we are your fellow citizens, we have always been here and all we ask for are the rights that everyone else has, and I think most San Diegans understood that.”

KPBS is a media sponsor of the exhibit, which runs until January 2020.

Video by Kris Arciaga

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