Professional Organization of LGBTQIA+ Historians Denounce Museum of the American Revolution Hosting Extremists Moms for Liberty
Philadelphia, PA, 16 June 2023 — The Committee on LGBT History condemns the decision made by the Museum of the American Revolution to rent event space to Moms for Liberty, designated an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This organization consistently spreads harmful, hateful rhetoric about the LGBTQIA+ community, including popularizing the use of the term “groomer” to refer to queer people and attacking the mere existence of trans youth. Giving Moms for Liberty a space to share their extremist, anti-LGBTQIA rhetoric is irresponsible and dangerous.
The field of LGBTQIA+ history is flourishing and has, in recent years, generally found acceptance as a legitimate field of historical inquiry. We have done so amidst the refusal by many museums, archives, and professional organizations to support our work as well as a denial of the presence of queer individuals throughout history. Our gains are thus tenuous and becoming even more so in light of the recent attacks on LGBTQIA+ history being made by Moms for Liberty and other extremist groups.
Further, it is shocking that an organization dedicated to documenting and preserving American history would enter into any relationship with an organization that is so intent upon distorting the American experience. At the center of the Moms for Liberty’s mission is the complete erasure of the racism and structural inequality rooted in slavery and its formative role in the founding of our nation.
By giving Moms for Liberty a platform at a historical institution, the Museum of the American Revolution lends legitimacy to the group’s dangerous views. The Committee on LGBT History encourages the museum to cancel their contract and to take action to regain the trust of their LGBTQIA+ employees and the queer community of Philadelphia.
The Committee on LGBT History, founded in 1979, promotes the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer topics in the past and present by facilitating communication among scholars in a variety of disciplines working on a variety of cultures. It encourages the development of specialized courses in LGBTQ studies as well as the inclusion of LGBTQ topics in general history courses; it supports local history archives and history projects; it coordinates activities with other professional caucuses and organizations; and it seeks to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ historians.
Associate Professor Chelsea Del Rio, Co-Chair of the Committee on LGBT Historycdelrio@lagccc.cuny.edu