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Exhibition highlights state’s LGBTQ history

February 8, 2017
KOKOMO, Ind. — A look into the past can motivate social progress in the future.

A Visual Journey: From AIDS to Marriage Equality, a traveling exhibition commemorating 30 years of Indiana’s LGBTQ history, provides that glimpse backwards.

The exhibition is free and open to the public through Friday, February 17, in Indiana University Kokomo’s Alumni Hall.

“I think it’s important for students, and the community as a whole, to recognize the people who have stepped forward and made the effort, and led the movement that has given us the social equality we have now,” said Master of Business Administration student Abel Sutherland, a member of the campus’ Gay Straight Alliance.

“These photographs document the road to where we are now, and helps us understand the significance of where we are now, and the progress that still must be made. It will motivate us to continue the social progress that has been started,” he said.

The exhibition, provided by the Indiana Historical Society, includes work by photographer Mark A. Lee, who tells the stories of being a member of the state’s LGBTQ community.

Sutherland said it tells personal stories, which is a powerful way to educate and raise awareness. He was surprised to learn about the Bag Ladies, an Indianapolis-based group that was one of the first to raise awareness of AIDS.

“As people share their stories, and awareness is brought about, that’s when people can recognize the privileges they have, and the progress that has been made,” he said.

The exhibition is free and open to the public in Alumni Hall. Free parking is available on campus.
The traveling exhibit is sponsored by Elli Lilly and Company and Cummins, and highlights the Indiana Historical Society’s work with the Indiana LGBT Collecting Initiative, which includes oral histories, photographs, and research donated to its archive.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana

Last updated: 02/08/2017