Jun 27, 2016
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In a story that coincided with gay pride celebrations, the Washington Post wrote about a local historian’s ongoing push to recognize LGBT members’ history, an effort that has led to an exhibit in October at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park.

The newspaper published an article about the growing movement to include gay people and their struggle for civil rights in U.S. history.

The piece recognized Rosie the Riveter Park consultant and urban planner Donna Graves for pressing officials over the last decade to include stories about gay Americans during WWII.

In March 2014, Graves’ efforts paid off after Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park announced a campaign to collect stories for an exhibit.The exhibit is slated to open in October at the Richmond park, according to the Washington Post. It will include Bev Hickok, a lesbian Rosie who assembled airplanes, as well as Jeffrey Dickemann, who was known as Mildred while a member of the Women’s Land Army but later lived life as a man.

“The exhibit emphasizes tales of hardship but also opportunity for women and people of color who streamed into the area for jobs left vacant when the mostly white male military fought overseas,” the Washingont Post reported. “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who had left rural parts of the country found it easier to be open about their sexuality in the gay mecca that San Francisco was starting to become, Graves said. Many chose to stay after the war ended.”

Graves also told the newspaper: “We’re trying to explain that today you know that queer people are here and demanding rights — but they’ve always been here.”


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.