Title

Norfolk’s Hidden Queer Histories: ABC Laws and the Gay Bar Scene

Presenting Author Name/s

Kira Kindley

Faculty Advisor

Cathleen Rhodes

Presentation Type

Poster

Disciplines

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Women's Studies

Description/Abstract

Using archival research that draws primarily from 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.

This section of Norfolk’s Hidden Queer Histories focuses on how homophobic Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) laws affected and altered the gay bar landscape in Norfolk, even after those laws were overturned in 1991. Bars to be included in this analysis include the Oar House, The Nutcracker, and HerShee Bar. This research explores how these ABC laws made it more difficult for gay owned, operated, and oriented bars to keep their doors open, disrupting the community that those bars were able to build.

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: ABC Laws and the Gay Bar Scene

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Northwest Atrium

Using archival research that draws primarily from 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.

This section of Norfolk’s Hidden Queer Histories focuses on how homophobic Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) laws affected and altered the gay bar landscape in Norfolk, even after those laws were overturned in 1991. Bars to be included in this analysis include the Oar House, The Nutcracker, and HerShee Bar. This research explores how these ABC laws made it more difficult for gay owned, operated, and oriented bars to keep their doors open, disrupting the community that those bars were able to build.