Last night, we held the first workshop for California Pride, a new project to map out important LGBTQ places and stories in the state of California. With collaborators the Lexington Club Archival Project, GLBT Historical Society, and Bay Area Lesbian History Archives Project on hand, the aim of night was to introduce attendees to the project on Historypin and facilitate a story-collecting session focusing on LGBTQ places in California meaningful to them. We called it a “pinning party” and it was certainly a lot of fun! Our friends at the California Historical Society (CHS), a partner on the project, were kind enough to host the event in their exhibition space in downtown San Francisco, and helped us organize the event along with California Pride power co-founders Donna Graves and Shayne Watson.
After great introductions from CHS, the Lexington Project, Shayne, and Donna, we broke into smaller groups for our story-collecting session. Thanks to outreach from Donna and Shayne, we had over 7 fantastic volunteers including students from UC Berkeley and friends from SF Heritage and the National Park Service. Each volunteer helped to facilitate conversations in each group and the filling-out of story sheets we created for the night; these sheets asked for information specific to pinning on Historypin such as location and date, and stories shared will either contribute to a new pin or help enrich an existing pin in the project.
A highlight of the night was the end of the event, where Donna invited volunteers and participants to come up to the mic and share a story heard or told as part of their individual groups. This was a great way to tie-together the session, and an opportunity for the entire room to share in some of the stories collected throughout the night. Overall, this was a fantastic event that helped bring together those in the local community both actively preserving and interested in preserving LGBTQ history, while introducing how participants could continue sharing their stories on Historypin. Hopefully this is first of many, we’ve already received interest from Sacramento and Los Angeles. Thanks to all who helped organize!