ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Local and regional lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history played a prominent role at the Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) at America's Center and Renaissance Grand Hotel, April 16-19. 
The 2015 conference titled "Taboos" featured panels, sessions and tours dedicated to frequently avoided topics that historians have missed from race and gender to sexuality. 
The OAH's special LGBTQ committee has been working for the past five years to grow the number of LGBTQ related sessions atoah the annual meeting. The organization reached out to The St. Louis LGBT History Project more than a year ago to assure that local queer history would be be spotlighted. 

"They felt our work fit into the conference's 2015 theme of "taboos" well," said Project founder, Steven Brawley. "They asked us to create the Queer Central West End tour and a display in the exhibit hall."
LGBT specific sessions at the conference included Talking on Taboos: Queer organizing from the 1960s to the 1990s, Out-of-Bounds: Crossing the Line of Accepted Sexual Practices, State of the Field: LGBTQ History, Crime, Violence, and the Whitewashing of Queer History; and Queer Archives in the Show Me State.
"The Project was part of a formal panel presentation that was organized as a team effort by our sister history projects in Kansas City [Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America] and Springfield, Missouri [Ozarks Lesbian and Gay Archives]," said Brawley. " It was a pleasant surprise to OAH people I interacted with that Missouri had three flourishing LGBT history projects and that they were so well organized and were collaborating with one another."
"The Project was excited to let historians from across the globe know about our efforts to preserve and promote LGBTQ history here in St. Louis," Brawley concluded. "So often, the so-called fly over cities and states are ignored when it comes to LGBTQ history research with so much attention on New York, Los Angeles, etc."
Founded in 1907, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is the world's largest professional association dedicated to American history scholarship. With more than 7,800 members from the U.S. and abroad, OAH promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, encouraging wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of history practitioners. It publishes the quarterly Journal of American History, the leading scholarly publication and journal of record in the field of American history for more than nine decades. It also publishes The American Historian magazine.

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