In celebration of Pride Month, the Cleveland History Center is shining the spotlight on Cleveland’s LGBTQ+ history with History on Tap: PRIDE. Join us at the Cleveland History Center on June 24 for a historic happy hour celebrating Cleveland’s LGBTQ+ community, from its origins to the modern day.
The event will open with a brief presentation from our Cleveland history experts, followed by a networking opportunity designed to connect participants with the LGBTQ+ organizations within the community. Then, join us in the garden of our Bingham-Hanna Mansion to enjoy live music by the Dane Vannatter Trio, and explore our museum galleries, including our newest exhibit, Women & Politics, to learn about the LGBTQ+ trailblazers represented in the WRHS collection. A cash bar will be available (beer and wine only), and light refreshments will be offered for purchase.
5:30-5:45pm | PRESENTATION: Lucius and Chuck – Visible “Partners”?
Presenter: Dr. John Grabowski, Krieger Mueller Chief Historian
From the 1930s to the 1960s, Lucius Morris Beebe was an American celebrity. Born into wealth, he became a syndicated columnist, author, gourmet, and ostentatious boulevardier who chronicled Café Society, the American West, and, most famously, railroads. But Beebe was also a member of America’s rather open wealthy gay society. He and his partner, Charles Clegg, lived, loved, and worked together for twenty-six years. Their relationship ended only with Beebe’s death.
This presentation focuses on the story of “Luke” and “Chuck” but also explores the wider upper class gay society in which they lived – an interconnected community that included Cole Porter, Monty Wooley, and, importantly, several Clevelanders, including Jerome Zerbe, Leonard Hanna, Jr., and Winsor French.
5:45-6:00pm | PRESENTATION: Cleveland is So Gay!
Presenter: Ken Schneck, author of LGBTQ Cleveland and editor of The Buckeye Flame
Cleveland’s LGBTQ+ history exhibits the classic components of a Hollywood blockbuster: heroes, villains, epic crowd scenes, meet-cutes, and a soundtrack to end all soundtracks. We’ll take a quick tour through some images ranging from inspiring 19-year-olds to nefarious state senators to how a blade of grass almost caused the arrest of a cadre of protestors. And we’ll learn a heck of a lot about our LGBTQ+ Pride in the process!
6:00-6:30pm | Networking
Organizations Present: Plexus LGBT & Allied Chamber of Commerce; West 117 Foundation; The Buckeye Flame; PFLAG Cleveland; Western Reserve Historical Society LGBT Archives
6:30-8:00pm | Entertainment
Live music from the Dane Vannatter Trio
Museum galleries open
Event Admission: $25
WRHS Member Admission: $20
Includes admission to the Cleveland History Center as well as event admission.