Midwest Archives Conference Statement in Support of LGBTQ+ History and the Exhibit "Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights"


The Midwest Archives Conference unequivocally condemns the removal of the Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights exhibit from the Missouri state capitol rotunda. Removing this exhibit erases the history of Missouri’s LGBTQ+ community by censoring and excluding LGBTQ+ history from the mainstream historical narrative. MAC supports and respects student scholarship, Missouri’s LGBTQ+ community, and the accurate telling of the state’s history.

As archivists, we work with historically relevant documents. We see evidence each day of blatant discrimination against marginalized groups, including the intentional erasure of these communities’ culture resulting in noticeable gaps in the historical record. We strongly condemn any attempts to hide this history or pretend it never happened. Rather, we choose to shine light on our past, as these students did, so that we may avoid making the same mistakes again. Our LGBTQ+ community has been fighting for fair treatment for decades, and deserve to be recognized as primary players in our nation’s past and present.

We call on Governor Michael L. Parson to reinstall the exhibit in the capitol rotunda. The story of Missouri’s marginalized citizens should be front and center to all visitors to the building, as it was originally intended.

Unanimously passed on October 15, 2021

National Council on Public History statement