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Honoring the LGBTQ+ Community

Our national parks are powerful places that should reflect the stories of America in all its diversity and complexity. For many years, the stories of LGBTQ+ Americans have been erased through laws and prejudice. For many LGBTQ+ groups, preserving and interpreting their past has been an important part of building communities and mutual support. Thanks to these efforts, we can find LGBTQ+ stories and experiences across the country.

NPF is committed to preserving history and culture in parks with an aim to share more comprehensive and inclusive stories that amplify the full range of experiences and voices that are woven into the fabric of the United States, including members of the LGBTQ+ community. NPF is also proud to support programs and projects that welcome and provide safe spaces for those who identify as LGBTQ+ to enjoy and engage with our parks.

NPF's Work in This Space

NPF supports national parks, programs, and projects that highlight the stories of those who identify as LGBTQ+ – those who made history and those who continue to shape our future.

  • Typewriter and rotary phone
    Program
    NPS Mellon Humanities Fellowship
    Supports the work of humanities scholars whose research and analysis of the complex and fascinating histories in and around our parks helps us discover untold perspectives.
  • Park visitor using New Bedford Shoreside Industries app
    Program
    Inclusive Storytelling
    Supports contemporary research in parks, as well as projects that transform this research into relevant interpretative products – from interpretive park programs and exhibits to websites and videos.
  • A person, wearing a beanie and a backpack, raises his hand and smiles towards a uniformed park ranger who also holds their hand up
    Program
    ParkVentures
    Engages historically excluded communities, including the LGBTQ+ community, through outdoor recreation opportunities in national parks.

Recent Projects

Explore just some of the projects supported by NPF that help preserve and share LGBTQ+ history and culture.

  • A group of people sit by a fire and pose for a photo
    Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
    Queers in the Wilderness
    An NPF ParkVentures grant supported Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps to fund an immersive and skills-building backpacking trip for queer-identifying individuals at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
  • Front of Stonewall Inn
    Stonewall National Monument
    Supporting Stonewall National Monument
    Since the designation of Stonewall National Monument in 2016, NPF has been working in partnership with NPS and local community organizations to develop programs and initiatives that celebrate LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Four campers sit beside a tent and look out onto a mountainous landscape
    Project
    Venture Out Project Volunteer Program
    NPF supported the Venture Out Project in efforts to launch a nationwide volunteer program. Funds helped hire a volunteer coordinator who is recruiting volunteers nationwide to bolster the organization’s mission of creating safe and affirming environments to bring queer people together in outdoor adventure.
  • Project
    Rainbow Crews
    For several years NPF has funded Northwest Youth Corps to run LGBTQ+ Rainbow service corps crews. Crews have accomplished priority backlog and maintenance projects at Mount Rainier National Park, landscape work at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, and other projects at Olympic National Park, while bonding as groups and growing as individuals.
  • Three people kneel by a log. They wear hard hats and protective gloves
    Grand Teton National Park
    Funding a Queer Crew’s Work at Grand Teton
    NPF supported an American Conservation Experience Queer Inclusion Crew at Grand Teton National Park to address deferred maintenance, mitigate climate change impacts, and increase access for visitors with physical disabilities.
  • A stone bridge stretches over a calm creek
    Project
    Nature & Nurture with Pride Outside
    With support from Nature Valley and other partners, NPF’s ParkVentures program helped fund Pride Outside’s Nature and Nurture series, connecting the LGBTQ+ community to the outdoors. A second ParkVentures grant is supporting Pride Outside to build on that program with eight additional community workshops and hikes at Rock Creek Park for members of the local LBGTQ+ community to celebrate queer joy; increase physical, mental, and social health; and cultivate connections.

Related Stories

  • Story
    Finding Pride Outside
    Pride Outside connects the LGBTQ+ community around the outdoors and hosts hikes, tours, courses, and an annual summit. Explore the work made possible by an NPF ParkVentures grant.
  • Q&A
    The Power of Being Yourself
    Hear from young leaders who participated in NPF-supported LGBTQ+ service corps crews at national parks.
  • Historic photo of a person sitting in a library and reading by a window
    Park Stories
    Honoring LGBTQ+ History in National Parks
    Discover just some of the fascinating stories of LGBTQ+ individuals and communities preserved in national parks across the country.
  • Historic photo of two people standing at a picket line, crowding under an umbrella
    Park Stories
    National Parks that Honor the Legacy of Trailblazing Movements
    The 1969 uprising at what’s now Stonewall National Monument is just one of the stories of trailblazing movements that are now preserved and honored in our national parks.

NPS Resources

  • Historic photo of Clyde Wahrhaftig in the field in the 1980s
    Biographies
    LGBTQ+ Heritage: People
    Read the stories of LGBTQ+ individuals and their ties to national parks across the United States.
  • Two story stone cottage with covered porch
    Educational Tools
    Education Resources
    Explore NPS’s free education tools and materials for teachers, interpreters, students, and lifelong learners inside and outside the National Park Service.
  • People sit in a hall and listen to a speaker
    Park Spotlight
    Featured Places
    Learn about national park sites and other places associated with LGBTQ history in America.
  • Rainbow and LGBTQ+ pride flags along the top of an iron fence surrounding Christopher Park
    Theme Study
    LGBTQ+ Heritage Theme Study
    Published by NPF for NPS and funded by the Gill Foundation, the theme study, “LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History” was part of NPS’ Heritage Initiative.