In 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim a week in September as National Hispanic Heritage Week. The observance was expanded in 1988 to a month long celebration, 15 September - 15 October.
In celebration of the 2006 Hispanic GLBT Heritage Month, D.C. resident Jose Gutierrez has curated an historic exhibition that focuses on the contributions made by gay Latinos to the history of Washington DC.
The Latino GLBT History Project opens with a reception at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15. Eight large panels full of documents, banners and photographs chronicling the history of D.C.’s gay Latino population will be available to the public for the first time, integrated with newsletters and documents of LLEGO, a national organization for gay Latinos that ceased operating in 2004.
“This is one of the most important exhibits in the country,” says Jose Gutierrez, the founder of the Latino GLBT History Project and organizer of the event. “I have been receiving emails from everywhere — San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Texas — from people who are coming to see the exhibit.”
The Center, located at 1111 14th St., NW, became involved after Gutierrez approached the board about hosting the exhibit, which runs until October 15 as the focus of Hispanic GLBT Heritage Month.