Gay Historical Materials at the Virginia Historical Society

Treats for the Mind - Museums & Exhibitions

Gay Rights Research Award

Virginia Historical Society and Gay Community Center of Richmond Award

Richmond, VA - At a reception on October 13, 2010, the Gay Community Center of Richmond (GCCR) honored Guy Kinman, a long-time activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) rights, by announcing its new partnership with the Virginia Historical Society (VHS). The GCCR granted the VHS money for the creation of the Guy Kinman Research Award, which will promote new historical scholarship on LGBT issues.

“The VHS has been building a significant collection of materials relating to gay rights and interests since 2008 when funding from the GCCR enabled the society to increase our focus on human rights issues,” said VHS President and CEO Paul Levengood. “The Guy Kinman Research Award will help raise awareness of the existing collection of LGBT materials at the VHS and increase research on this important topic in Virginia ’s history. We also hope to promote further growth of the LGBT collection for future generations.”

Kinman, an openly gay retired army chaplain, has been an active leader in the Richmond LGBT community since the 1980s. In 1987 he became the chair of the Richmond Virginia Gay and Lesbian Alliance and initiated “The Billboard Project,” a program aimed at raising awareness and respect for LGBT individuals. Kinman, now 92, is still advocating for LGBT rights and is an active participant in both VHS and GCCR programs.

“Guy Kinman has been involved in some of the most important events in Richmond ’s LGBT history,” Jay Squires, Gay Community Center of Richmond president, said at the reception.  “He has not only lived history, but is still making it today. He was the first person who came to mind when we thought about whom to honor in the naming of this award. It is in recognition of his devotion to human rights that the GCCR and the VHS have created the Guy Kinman Research Award to further the study of LGBT issues.”

The VHS will award grants to one or more scholars as funding allows based on the applicants’ scholarly qualifications, the merits of their proposals, and the appropriateness of their topics. Recipients will receive $500 and can utilize collections in the VHS library, such as the Stephen Lenton papers and records from the Virginia Gay Lesbian Bisexual Community Center and the Richmond Virginia Gay Alliance.

“This award reminds me of how much we are inspired by each other, and how it takes a group of people to make a project work,” said Guy Kinman. “The VHS has been true to their mission to collect all of Virginia ’s history. This award from the GCCR proves that.”

For more than 178 years, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has been the steward of history, both state and national. Headquartered at 428 North Boulevard in Richmond , the VHS features award-winning exhibitions that are entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.–5 p.m. (shop and museum galleries only). Admission is free. For group tour information, call (804) 342-9652. For more information, call (804) 358-4901.

The Gay Community Center of Richmond (GCCR), in its eleventh year of operation, develops and helps sustain organizations, programs and services that contribute to a vibrant Central Virginia community that shares the values of diversity, inclusion, individual dignity, equality and civic engagement. GCCR works to create a safe and welcoming environment where all residents of Central Virginia can live and work free from discrimination. The vision of the GCCR is to be the physical and virtual center for the enrichment of the lives of sexual and gender minority people through individual and organizational achievement and growth.





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