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A timeline of LGBT places and spaces in D.C.

June 08, 2017
  • Kate Rabinowitz

Washington, D.C. is home to one of the largest pride celebrations in the country. Started in 1975, the celebration now referred to as Capital Pride is just one piece of a larger LGBT movement in D.C. over the past six decades that sought, and continues to seek, equal treatment and acceptance. Bars, bookstores, group homes, clinics, and churches across the District played an essential role in providing safe spaces to a community facing discrimination as it fought for its rights.

Photos courtesy of Ted Eytan (Originals: 1, 2, 3, 4)

The interactive below maps the places and spaces important to the LGBT community in D.C. over more than 50 years. The data is available through The Rainbow History Project, an organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and promoting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history in D.C.

A Timeline of LGBT Places and Spaces in D.C.
Click locations for more information

Created by Kate Rabinowitz / DataLensDC for D.C. Policy Center

Photos courtesy of Ted Eytan (Originals: 1, 2, 3, 4)

Technical notes

Data was obtained through The Rainbow History Project’s Places and Spaces Database. Corrections or additions can be submitted to The Rainbow History Project. A decade shows all places open for any period of time across the decade. Where end dates were not provided for an institution the place was only shown in the decade it opened. Places located on the first block of O St SE, a block that no longer exists, appear on the map on the first street of O St SW. You can find complete code for this on my github page.

This post also appears on DataLensDC


Kate Rabinowitz

Former Senior Fellow
D.C. Policy Center

Kate is the Founder of DataLensDC (datalensdc.com), an organization dedicated to understanding communities through data; her work through DataLensDC has been featured in The Atlantic’s CityLab, City Observatory, Washingtonian, and Washington City Paper, among other publications. She is a Co-Captain of Code for DC, a civic hacking group dedicated to solving local issues. Kate is also a leader in DC’s Women in Tech community, both as co-organizer of the Tech Lady Hackathon and creator of wespeaktoo.org, a website that promotes women speakers. Kate is now a graphics reporter at the Washington Post.

D.C. Policy Center contributors are independent writers, and we gladly encourage the expression of a variety of perspectives. The views of our contributors, published here or elsewhere, do not reflect the views of the D.C. Policy Center.