City wins $50,000 federal grant to protect LGBTQ history

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The federal government recently awarded a $50,000 grant to the D.C. Historic Preservation Office to help preserve the history of the local LGBTQ community.

The agency will use the funds to develop an existing LGBTQ context study, identify potential landmark designations and create a public database of historic sites, according to a news release.

Only two of 750 landmarks and districts listed on the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites are listed specifically due to their significance in LGBTQ history.

“Throughout history, members of the LGBTQ community have been influential in creating the space in which our city thrives and yet their presence is absent from our day-to-day surroundings,” D.C. Office of Planning director Eric Shaw said in a news release. “Our goal is to increase public awareness of Washington’s LGBTQ communities and expand the local and national inventory of sites associated with this underrepresented sector.”

The project is an extension of a 2015 historical context study by the preservation office, which collected research by the Rainbow History Project, academic sources and the community to identify LGBTQ-related eras in the District’s past.

The U.S. Department of Interior this year distributed $500,000 among 13 entities nationwide in an attempt to increase the number of listings associated with underrepresented groups in the National Register of Historic Places.