Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A Night at the Museum: A New Gallery Preserves History in a Changing Landscape

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A Night at the Museum: A New Gallery Preserves History in a Changing Landscape

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The late afternoon of October 11 was gloriously sunny, though the crowd gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the One Archives Gallery and Museum in West Hollywood was distinctly gray. With his jet-black hair and unlined face, Mayor Jeffrey Prang stood out.

"The gay population of West Hollywood is the same as it's been for years--about one third--but the average age is rising," he said, explaining why the city needed its first gay museum. The new facility--operated by the One National Gay and Lesbian Archives, a Los Angeles-based research library--features exhibits on police clashes, 1970s pride marches, and proposition fights. But the under-40 set--the people who could benefit most from such history lessons--was absent.

A gay museum may be the last thing a 24-year-old production assistant thinks about visiting on a Saturday evening, but to Prang, that doesn't mean he shouldn't. "It's extremely important to remember LGBT history and culture," he said. But "people are dispersing." Less expensive L.A. neighborhoods are luring younger gays away from West Hollywood. Where drag queens once roamed, baby strollers now roll. …

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