Starting Oct. 17, Skokie's Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center will host the exhibit "Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement," which explores the June 1969 police raid of the Stonewall Inn as the flashpoint that ignited the modern LGBTQ+-rights movement in the United States.
In the half-century since the Riots, the country's LGBTQ+ population has struggled for equal rights and representation under the law. "Rise Up" shares those voices and tells the stories of this movement.
Within this exhibition, sponsored by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Trust and the Abe & Ida Cooper Foundation, visitors will be immersed in a journey that weaves together narratives of LGBTQ+-rights history and the ongoing fight for civil rights. "Rise Up" also examines popular culture's role in influencing and reflecting attitudes about the LGBTQ+ community through film, television, sports and music, and explores how the movement harnessed the power of public protest and demonstration to change laws and shatter stereotypes.
Starting with the Stonewall Inn riots, visitors will travel through time, hitting major points in history and game-changing moments for the LGBTQ+ movement including:
The 1978 assassination of Harvey Milk, one of the country's first openly gay elected officials;
The AIDS crisis
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank's public coming-out in 1987;
The efforts for hate crime legislation;
The implementation and later repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"; and
The fight for marriage equality
Blending historic images and items from the LGBTQ rights movement, the courage and resilience of LGBTQ Americans is displayed through over 80 powerful artifacts in the exhibit, including posters from Harvey Milk's campaign for public office in San Francisco, an original rainbow flag signed by its creator Gilbert Baker, the gavel Nancy Pelosi used to announce the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and interactive kiosks with information on current LGBTQ+-rights issues.
"Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement" was developed by the Newseum. The Newseum is an affiliate of the Freedom Forum, whose stated mission is "to foster First Amendment freedoms for all."
See ILHolocaustMuseum.org .