(RHP) is an organization of Washington area women and men dedicated to collecting, preserving and promoting an active knowledge of the history, arts and culture relevant to sexually diverse communities in the metropolitan area.
RHP began on November 4, 2000 by five people whose commitment to preserving our community's memories arose out of frustration with trying to identify sources for the history of the local gay. Lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community.
The Project maintains an online archive of materials that tell our story. Currently available online are materials on Capital Pride and Black Pride, on drag in DC, on the local history of AIDS, including a timeline of the epidemic and a list of those who we have lost to AIDS. In addition, The Project has produced a history of the Washington Blade, a commemoration of the 30th anniversary of The Clubhouse, and "Places and Spaces" a database of clubs, organization sites and social spaces in our history.
A little over two years ago, RHP began one of its most successfu I programs, a series of brochures laying out tours, some walking, some driving, of significant places in the development of our community. Currently available are tours of African American sites, Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, South Capitol Street Women's sites and sites associated with Walt Whitman's sojourn in DC from 1863 to 1873.
At the heart or The Project's work is the coliection of oral histories. Our community has already lost too many memories to illness and death. The oral history collection keeps us from losing more by preserving individual's stories on tape. This means that we can tell our own story write our own history and not be dependent on others to represent our achievements, our struggles, our lives.
RHP holds numerous panel discussions on aspects of our history, such as the early youth organizations, the passage of Title 34 human rights legislation, the black social clubs and sports associations. They also sponsor history chats featuring prominent members of the community who discuss their contributions to GLBT life in the DC area.
The Rainbow History Project invites all to visit our website at www.rainbowhistory.org to learn more about the organization, to volunteer or to join.
The lifeblood of an organization is its members. Active and involved members are essential for an organization to meet its obligations, fulfill its responsibilities and successfully adapt to an ever changing world. An active member donates his or her time, talent and skill for the betterment of the organization and its membership.
Once in a great while, an organization is blessed with particularly gifted and generous members. These people not only share time, talent and skill, but have the special gift of sharing their energy, idealism and spirit. Billy Collison and Courtney Lovelace were two such people. While they are no longer with us in body they are not, and will never be, absent either from our thoughts or from the Association they served with such distinction. Their boundless enthusiasm, energy and selfless dedication continue to be a model to every person who had the opportunity to know them or the privilege to have them as a friend.
The Atlantic States Gay Rodeo Association acknowledges their service to the Association, and in recognition of their unique and selfless contributions to the Association and its work, we gratefully dedicate this program.
Read more about Billy in our Memoriam section