Opening tomorrow at the Leslie+Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art:
Queerness, as a sexual identity, is a modern phenomenon, developed in the early part of the 20th century. It is also something that each queer develops into at their own time and pace. As a history museum, we are interested in what comes before the modern moment. Thus, the theme for our summer show is “Before We Were Queer” –in terms of both personal identification and historic categorization. When and where queer history has been preserved, it has been kept by our community itself, and
Pop-Up seeks to give voice to these small narratives that are so easily lost in the rush to codify a bigger, more linear, capital-H version of our history. This show explores a wide range of queer history, going as far back as the Song Dynasty in China (960 – 1279 CE), when Guanyin (the Chinese name for the Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva), began to be depicted as both male and female. Exhibit makers for this show come from many countries, including Canada, Colombia, Netherlands, Peru, Tanzania, and the U.S., and range in age from their teens to their sixties.