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San Francisco's GLBT Historical Society hosts EPIC's Out in the World Exhibit

San Francisco's GLBT Historical Society hosts EPIC's Out in the World Exhibit

State Senator Scott Wiener, Minister Catherine Martin, GLBT Historical Society Director Andrew Shaffer and Consul General Robert O'Driscoll with the Original Rainbow Flag at the GLBT Historical Society.

Ireland’s Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin T.D. formally launchedthe exhibition, Out in the World, on May 14th at the GLBT Historical Society Museum in the Castro.

First installed at EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum, in Dublin last June, Out in the World will be on display in the Front Gallery of the GLBT Historical Society Museum during Pride month, and throughout the summer.

Out in the World Exhibition at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco

Out in the World highlights 12 queer diaspora stories across six themes: exclusion, community, love, defiance, solidarity and return. The exhibition’s thematic approach encourages intergenerational conversations and reflections on contemporary LGBTQ history. 

Many of the stories explored in the exhibition intersect with American history, including transcendentalist poet Walt Whitman’s relationship with his Limerick-born lover Peter Doyle; Stonewall Riots participant John O’Brien; and the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization (ILGO), which was founded in a Japanese restaurant in New York City in 1990.

OITW Video

The exhibit was developed with the consultation of Queer Culture Ireland, an LGBTQ culture, heritage and art group of which EPIC: the Irish Emigration Museum is a founding member. 

"Out in the World is an astonishing look at the stories of Ireland’s LGBTQ+ diaspora," said Minister Martin, who was joined at the launch by State Senator Scott Weiner and Consul General in San Francisco, Robert O’Driscoll. Shecongratulated the GLBT Historical Society for mounting such an important, transatlantic exhibition."Collaborations like this are important as we continue to build cultural partnerships, especially between our museums and archives”.

The exhibition was created by Dr. Maurice J. Casey, a research fellow on the Queer Northern Ireland project at Queen’s University Belfast, who was previously a Department of Foreign Affair’s Historian-in-Residence at EPIC. “The show is really about movements in many directions—not just from Ireland to abroad, but people who came back to Ireland as well,” says Casey. “And it’ll be interesting to see what people in the U.S. take away from it, how they have perceived Ireland’s own recent political and cultural transformations regarding LGBTQ people. They’ll have the chance to juxtapose those against the development of LGBTQ issues in the U.S.”

CG Robert O'Driscoll speaking at GLBT Historical Society"San Francisco has for decades been the symbolic heart of LGBTQ+ rights and it is entirely fitting the first international exhibition of Out in the World takes place here," said Ireland’s Consul General in San Francisco, Robert O’Driscoll said. "We are deeply thankful to the GLBT Historical Society for their partnership on this exhibition and for the opportunity to tell the story of Ireland’s LGBTQ+ diaspora."

Out in the World is a collaborative project between EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, located in Dublin, and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, reflecting the commitment in Ireland’s national Diaspora Strategy to support Ireland’s LGBTQ diaspora through initiatives designed to promote inclusiveness, tolerance and respect for diversity. For more information, hours and admission, go to the GLBT Historical Society museum.

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