The exhibition That’s So Gay: Outing Early America will show that – like African Americana and women’s history – the abundance of resources documenting homosexuality at the Library Company merely needs to be revealed. To paraphrase the late gay activist Harry Hay (1912-2002), history knows more about gay people than it knows it knows.
How can we know whether someone was gay? There are many answers to that question, but ultimately we cannot know whether a person who lived in the past would be called lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender today.
That does not mean that we cannot study gay history. Individuals took part in same-sex relationships, wrote poems and novels celebrating such relationships, deviated from gender norms, and suffered for transgressive behavior in ways that are well-documented in the historical record. Gayness can also be considered a shared cultural experience based on an intrinsically gay outlook on the world.
Exhibition is both physical and online. Go explore!
Thanks to @lizcovart for the tip.