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Exhibition Opening Reception: On Selfhood

February 8 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

On View: February 8-May 26, 2024

Masking is highly encouraged.

Young Lesbians, On Selfhood produces a narrative that represents the history, ingenuity, joy, and creativity of multiply marginalized young Lesbians. The Lesbians in this project often feel like their lives are too mundane to be recorded and acknowledged in the larger tapestry of Lesbian history. This is a ‘real time’ community-centered collection that pushes the boundaries of what is historically significant. It asks of its participants: What does your Lesbian identity mean to you?

This group exhibition, representing thirty-five young Lesbians, is centered around several key themes that surfaced from everyones’ stories: Identity and The Self; Love, Sex, Desire; Friendship and Community; and Transness and Gender. 

Young Lesbians, On Selfhood has a self-conscious awareness about what stories from who are typically excluded from the historical narrative while attempting to address silences within mainstream archives. It asserts a Lesbian present: an archive of the Now that we can reference for knowledge, affirmation, and joy. 

Explore the material intimacies of participants' lives. View their art, flip through the zines, and listen to their stories.

‘On Selfhood: Young Lesbians within the Margins’ Oral History Project

‘On Selfhood: Young Lesbians within the Margins’ documents the lives of 42 multiply marginalized Lesbians from the ages 18-25 through oral histories and item collecting. The project took place from 2022-2023 with most of the oral histories happening in 2022. The organizing questions for this collecting project focused on how Lesbians within the margins arrived at their Lesbian identity. How did they think about their Lesbianism in relation to their other marginalities? Also, how are young Lesbians crafting, forming, and creating communities from their beds, homes, apartments, and online? On Selfhood deeply invests in the personal while creating histories of our present moment.

There are 42 collections with an anonymous collection where participants felt more comfortable sharing their items. Thirty-eight people chose oral histories, and four people wrote their stories. Every collection either has an oral history or a written story. Participants included items like collages, paintings, drawings, song lyrics, Tumblr posts, fanfiction, audio diaries, journal entries, essays, poetry, stage plays, t-shirts, zines, photography, polaroids, and prints.

View the website with the oral histories and digitized materials: On Selfhood Website and follow @lesbianoralhistory on Instagram for project updates.

Exhibition Access Language

Young Lesbians, On Selfhood is on view along the hallways of the second, third, and fourth floors. These floors are accessible via the elevator behind the I&R desk or the spiral staircase in the center of the lobby. The fourth floor is accessible via the elevator or Stairwell B next to the elevator. 

Additionally, a portion of the exhibition will be on view within The LGBT Community Center National History Archive/ Pat Parker/ Vito Russo Center Library. This space is located on the fourth floor, to the left upon exiting the elevator or Stairwell B, and through the glass doors. Stay tuned for exhibition viewing hours inside the Archive/Library.

**Our elevator is currently out of service and the exhibition will only be accessible via stairs during the opening reception. We sincerely apologize for this unfortunate circumstance and will notify all registrants when the elevator is back in operation. We hope you will return to view this important exhibition!**


Registration Required:
Youth Only:
Arts and Culture
February 8
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Custom Sources
The LGBT Community Center
Event Language
Event Topic
Arts and Culture
Registration Required
Youth Only