Theme Proposal

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Theme Proposal

History of LGBTQ Activism at NYU

For my first topic, I plan to research the history of LGBTQ activism at NYU. I plan to use the University Archives for information about the founding of the LGBTQ Center, as they recently donated their records to the University. I am also hoping to conduct various oral history interviews with people who were once involved in LGBTQ activism at NYU to learn about how it has changed over the years. I am hoping to limit the scope of my project to activism performed by NYU students and NYU student groups, though it might expand to actions/activism related to NYU.

The history of LGBTQ activism at NYU already ties to some topics already on Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were both present at the initial occupation of Weinstein which lead them to found Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR); OutHistory features this story in its article on STAR, though neither Rivera nor Johnson have individual articles. There have been several blog posts on the occupation, as well as some accounts in books, but I am curious to create a more comprehensive picture that shows how student activism of the past has directly lead to the successes and opportunities available to student activists at NYU today. I want to find out, as accurately as is possible, when certain gay activist groups were founded, when they gained recognition, and how that recognition turned into the various school-sponsored clubs and offices that exist today.


Gay Student Liberation at NYU founded (1969)

Weinstein is occupied on September 20, 1970 (

Gay student union protests to add sexual orientation and gender identity to NYU’s non-discrimination policy (October 6, 1980) (

Center founded in 1996 (

[some information in this article is incorrect], Univeristy Archives)

Other sources:

Dancing the Gay Lib Blues by Arthur Bell

Sarah McBride

For my second topic, I will be focusing on Sarah McBride, the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign and a prominent transgender activist. Sarah McBride was the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention at the Democratic National Convention this past summer, but she was entered the public eye when she came out in an op-ed after serving as Student Body President at American University in 2012. Since that article was published, she has gone on to assist in the passage of important anti-discrimination legislation in her home state of Delaware, intern at the White House, and become a somewhat famous social media presence. I think that a narrative project on Sarah McBride will allow for more integration of born-digital information into, as all of the coverage on McBride has been post 2010. After the HB2 bill–or, as it is better known, the Bathroom Bill–passed in North Carolina, McBride took a picture of herself in the women’s room while campaigning against the legislation with the Human Rights Campaign. It was featured on a variety of news sites and shared thousands of time on Facebook, and I think that considering how to include digital coverage on OutHistory could aid in the use of digital formats for non-digital sources as well.

Sarah McBride is a rising political figure, and politics and LGBTQ rights have gone hand in hand since the beginning of the Gay Liberation movement. Adding McBride’s information to will be a way to landmark the achievements of a contemporary figure; additionally, I am curious to see if this would be an opportunity to assess how already published information can be updated on McBride is making news pretty regularly, and I expect she’ll be just as prominent for the foreseeable future. In creating a timeline and an article for her, I can consider how projections of the future tie into queer history, as well as how I can leave room for updates and additions to her information that fit seamlessly with what has come before.

Coming out (May 1, 2012

Passing legislation in DE (June 19, 2013) (

Bathroom selfie (April 21, 2016

Speaking at DNC (July 28, 2016) (News coverage from CNN, NBC, Fox, etc.)

By | 2018-01-07T14:25:52-05:00 March 1st, 2017|Theme Proposal, Xena|0 Comments

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