Special Exhibitions

Presenting artifacts from LGBT religious history in thematic exhibitions.

These exhibitions present artifacts from LGBT religious collections in digital format and organized as you might see in a museum or library. Each exhibition explores a particular subject of LGBT religious history and includes diverse artifacts, such as photos, articles, correspondence, documents and audio or video clips, that have been found in archives. In its ongoing efforts to make original source materials on LGBT religious history widely accessible to students, researchers and other interested persons, LGBT-RAN invites collaboration with other groups to create additional exhibitions.

Open Hands

Displays the complete run of the quarterly magazine Open Hands (originally Manna for the Journey) that was published by the Reconciling Congregation Program and other Welcoming Church Programs from 1985 to 2002.

Towards a Quaker View of Sex

Recounts the saga of 11 British Quakers who published in 1963 the first report by a religious body that espoused a positive view of homosexuality. Traces their bold six-year journey and the widespread impact of their study.

The Upstairs Lounge Fire

Dramatically depicts the tragic arson fire in a New Orleans on June 24, 1973, that killed 32 persons, including many members of the MCC congregation. Looks at the impact upon the LGBT community—local as well as national.
Recipient of the 2014 Allen Bérubé Prize.

Council on Religion and the Homosexual

Portrays the formative years (1964-68) of this ground-breaking coalition of clergy and lesbian & gay activists in San Francisco. Created in collaboration with the LGBT Historical Society.

Shower of Stoles

Presents pictures and stories of over 1,000 stoles and other liturgical items that comprise the Shower of Stoles Project and that depict the ministries of LGBT persons. Created in collaboration with the Institute of Welcoming Resources.

The Ordination of William R. Johnson

Presents the first ordination of an openly gay person in mainline Protestant Christianity in the U.S.: William R. Johnson ordained by the Golden Gate Association of the United Church of Christ on June 25, 1972. Would you contribute an artifact or memory to this interactive exhibition?

Congregation Beit Simchat Torah

Explores the early history of the world's largest LGBT synagogue located in New York City. Created in collaboration with Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. (This is exhibition is partially completed.)

Maranatha: Riversiders for LGBT Concerns

Explores the history and life of one of the first LGBT ministries within a church in the United States. (This is exhibition is partially completed.)

Sampler of Early Documents

Shows a dozen early (1964-81) newsletters or articles that document the formation of a diversity of LGBT religious groups or movements.