Discovering LGBTQ History in Maryland

By Meagan Baco

Over the last several years the National Park Service has published contextual theme studies on cultures and groups underrepresented in the collection of places and sites currently recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. The latest in their diversity efforts is “LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History” released in full on October 11, 2016 – also celebrated as National Coming Out Day.

While many groups and organizations have already begun the collection of LGBTQ artifacts and stories, there are only 9 – out of over 1.7 million contributing historic resources – National Park Service sites that officially interpret that history within its physical context.


The Rainbow Heritage Network, “a national organization for the recognition and preservation of sites, history, and heritage associated with sexual and gender minorities in the United States,” hosts a list of those nine sites. But more noteworthy, the organization also crowdsources  sites that are likely to be significant to national or local history as they relate to the LGBTQ community’s contributions to American society. Out of over 500 sites notated across the country, 22 of those sites are in Maryland.

Preservation Maryland is working with partners in local government, academic institutions, and allied organizations to initiate the beginnings of an effort to research identified LGBTQ heritage sites in Maryland and support their recognition by the National Park Service. This may result in amendments to existing National Register nominations, new nominations at several levels, and new outreach and advocacy on the theme. If you are interested in being a part of this project, please sign-up to receive Preservation Maryland’s periodic project updates:


Meagan Baco · Director of Communications

Meagan Baco shares the stories of the Old Line State’s important history and unique places – and the people working to preserve it, through Preservation Maryland’s website and publications.

Meet Our Team
Our Story Donate Press & Media Resources Contact Us Site by Younts Design Inc. © Preservation Maryland, 2018.