Museum gives students access to LGBTQ+ history amid Florida’s anti-gay legislation

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Stonewall National Museum and Archives // Credit: Stonewall National Museum, Archives, & Library, Facebook

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Amid a surge in anti-LGBT legislation in Florida, one museum is working to preserve its community’s history for the next generation.

The Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Fort Lauderdale is one of the largest gay archives and libraries in the country.

“We have the gavel that Nancy Pelosi used when they took away Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

For Robert Kesten, Executive Director at Stonewall, preserving this history is more important than ever, especially in Florida’s hostile political climate towards the LGBTQ community.

Governor DeSantis signed an expansion in May to what critics call the Don’t Say Gay bill. It prohibits instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity to many Florida students.

“Any student with a valid student ID can get a free membership at Stonewall, and then take out e-books. So they will have access to materials.”

They also have a program called Stonewall National Education Project, which shares inclusive policies, practices, and curriculum with educators.

“This community, even before it was well organized, was able to overcome adversity. And it’s that strength, that creativity, that courageousness, that will carry us through this time and hopefully move Florida back to the right side of history.”

You can visit their website at stonewall-museum.org.

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