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Pioneering study of Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ history seeks public input

The former Midtown gay bar the Atlanta Eagle. (File Photo by Kelly Jordan.)

By John Ruch

A pioneering study of Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ history is taking public input and contributions, with some community events to be announced soon.

Historic Atlanta, a nonprofit focused on underrepresented history, last year secured funding for the study. In conjunction with the Atlanta Department of City Planning (DCP), the study will continue through the end of the year and culminate in a “Historic Context Statement,” a report intended to inform and inspire future preservation efforts like landmarking and listing on registers of historic places.

DCP has been talking with various community groups for input since the beginning of the year, according to department spokesperson Paula Owens, and a webpage was launched at atlfutureplaces.com/lgbtq-grant. And more is on the way.

This month, a request for input will be rolled out to the Neighborhood Planning Units. That request says: “You can fill in the details of the City’s LGBTQ+ history that might not otherwise be found in archives or general publications, share a story about a special LGBTQ+ place in the City of Atlanta, pass along materials or documents related to the City’s LGBTQ+ history, or let us know about what our research should focus on.”

DCP is also working on “community events” that likely will be announced next week, Owens said. Even after the study wraps up in December, she added, that won’t be the end.

“Our goal is to also continue ongoing community dialogue on the topic even after the conclusion of the formal research,” Owens said.

For more information, see the study’s webpage. Suggestions and materials can be sent to the study team at lgbtqcontext@historicatlanta.org.

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