Title

Norfolk’s Hidden Queer Histories: Police and the LGBTQ Community

Presenting Author Name/s

Kayla Hess

Faculty Advisor

CATHLEEN RHODES

Faculty Advisor Email

carhodes@odu.edu

Presentation Type

Poster

Disciplines

History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Oral History

Description/Abstract

Using archival research that draws primarily on Our Own, Norfolk’s gay newspaper from 1976 - 1998, and a series of oral history interviews, this project uncovers pieces of Norfolk’s queer past. This research began as part of a class-based research project that culminated in the first student-led and designed queer walking tour of Norfolk.

It is hard to understand our present without a clear understanding of our past, and this project seeks to give us a lens through which to examine queer Norfolk today. A powerful component of the work was the experience of physically standing in spaces previously occupied by local LGBTQ citizens, past and present. To stand where Norfolk’s Queer foreparents once stood and discuss their lives is to draw a connection from then to now, to understand our own lived experiences. The Norfolk Hidden Queer Histories poster series illustrates those connections in three specific areas: Norfolk’s gay bar scene, arts spaces, and Norfolk Police Department’s LGBT liaison officers.

Historically, police departments have had problematic relationships with LGBTQ communities. Norfolk residents experienced bar raids, targeted harassment, and surveillance. Despite this history, Hampton Roads LGBT liaison officers have taken several steps towards strengthening communication between the LGBTQ community and Hampton Roads police departments. This poster examines those new connections and the unsettling past that precipitated them.

Session Title

Poster Session

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Northwest Atrium

Start Date

3-2-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

3-2-2018 12:30 PM

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Feb 3rd, 8:00 AM Feb 3rd, 12:30 PM

Norfolk’s Hidden Queer Histories: Police and the LGBTQ Community

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Northwest Atrium

Using archival research that draws primarily on Our Own, Norfolk’s gay newspaper from 1976 - 1998, and a series of oral history interviews, this project uncovers pieces of Norfolk’s queer past. This research began as part of a class-based research project that culminated in the first student-led and designed queer walking tour of Norfolk.

It is hard to understand our present without a clear understanding of our past, and this project seeks to give us a lens through which to examine queer Norfolk today. A powerful component of the work was the experience of physically standing in spaces previously occupied by local LGBTQ citizens, past and present. To stand where Norfolk’s Queer foreparents once stood and discuss their lives is to draw a connection from then to now, to understand our own lived experiences. The Norfolk Hidden Queer Histories poster series illustrates those connections in three specific areas: Norfolk’s gay bar scene, arts spaces, and Norfolk Police Department’s LGBT liaison officers.

Historically, police departments have had problematic relationships with LGBTQ communities. Norfolk residents experienced bar raids, targeted harassment, and surveillance. Despite this history, Hampton Roads LGBT liaison officers have taken several steps towards strengthening communication between the LGBTQ community and Hampton Roads police departments. This poster examines those new connections and the unsettling past that precipitated them.