Nation's First Gay History Museum Opens

A new museum that chronicle's San Francisco's gay, lesbian and transgender community celebrates its grand opening today.

"We have gone all out to create a museum as rich, diverse and surprising as the GLBT community itself," says Paul Boneberg executive director of the GLBT Historical Society, which runs the museum, in a press release.

"A quarter century after the founding of the Historical Society, we're proud to open a museum to showcase our community's history," says Boneberg, "Whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight, visitors are sure to be moved, enlightened and entertained."

The 1,600-square-foot gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history museum is only the world's second museum dedicated solely to gay and lesbian archives and materials, according to museum officials. The other one is in Germany.

"Telling our stories transforms our lives and our society and takes us out of the margins," says Don Romesburg, a curator and assistant professor of Sonoma State University's Department of Women's and Gender Studies to the San Francisco Chronicle. "The museum is at the heart of that project."

Visitors can see exhibits as varied as the kitchen table and pink-framed sunglasses that belonged to Harvey Milk, the first elected openly gay politician in California, to manuscripts to newspapers to sex toys.

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