Denver Pride March 1978 MSS.1832

We are Colorado

LGBTQ+ Coloradans

Currently, the contributions, history, and voices of LGBTQ+ people are minimally represented in the permanent collection of History Colorado, resulting in limited opportunities for the public to engage, explore, and connect with the LGBTQ+ community. Now with generous support from the Gill Foundation, History Colorado will establish the Gill Foundation LGBTQ+ Archive, which will highlight 25 years of work by the Gill Foundation, preserve the legacy of Tim Gill’s philanthropic impact on LGBTQ+ rights in the state, and document Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community.

History Colorado helps make sense of the world through the filter of history while fostering in every Coloradan an understanding of their own history. In our blogs, our publications, our collecting initiatives and more, we've been gathering and telling the stories of LGBTQ+ Coloradans.

At History Colorado we strive to be a place of belonging for all Coloradans and to serve as a platform for community connection and co-creation. We know we’re succeeding when more voices, perspectives and experiences are part of History Colorado. This project will help us thoughtfully identify, collect, and make available to the public relevant documents, photos, oral histories and artifacts that help tell the compelling and complex story of Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community.

Photo of Pride Parade 1991
Denver Pride Parade 1991 History Colorado
Denver Pride Parade 1991 History Colorado
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of cake with GLCC logo
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of group of people
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of policeman and parade attendees at Gay Pride March in 1981
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of the Infamous Greg Looker at the 1981 Gay Pride March
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of parade signs at Gay Pride in 1978
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of GLCC's booth at the 1979's Capitol Hill People's Fair
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of GLCC sign being made
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of Fort Collins Gay Alliance bulletin board
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of Fort Collins Gay Alliance bulletin board
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of people at Gay Pride in 1979
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of the Gay Community Center booth at the People's Fair in 1979
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of Gay Community Center's booth at the People's Fair in 1979
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of parade marchers preparing for Gay Pride Parade in 1980
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of Gay Pride March in 1980 at Cheesman Park
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado Collection photo of Gay Pride event at Civic Center in 1980
Aaron Marcus, Gill Foundation Associate Curator of LGBTQ+ History

Aaron Marcus 
Gill Foundation Associate Curator of LGBTQ+ History

History Colorado

About Aaron Marcus

Aaron Marcus is an Emmy-winning researcher and lifelong Coloradan, and a member of the core curatorial staff of Colorado’s official state history organization. Marcus's full-time post as Gill Foundation Associate Curator of LGBTQ History is made possible by support from the Denver-based Gill Foundation, one of the nation’s largest funders of efforts to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. This job focuses on building more robust scholarship and inclusive holdings at History Colorado, which dates back to 1879. The position is also responsible for increased engagement with—and public access to—LGBTQ historical resources and narratives. 

Aaron Marcus has been with History Colorado since 2008 and worked in the Digital Imaging Studio from 2012 to 2019. Marcus worked with Rocky Mountain PBS on three seasons of the Colorado Experience series, winning a 2015 Heartland Regional Emmy Award for the “Sand Creek Massacre” episode. Other episodes he worked on garnered a total of eight regional Emmy nominations. In 2016, Aaron Marcus partnered with Rocky Mountain PBS to research for the half-hour special Colorado Experience: LGBTQ, which highlights the history of LGBTQ+ Coloradans from the gold rush to the modern day. It is viewable online in its entirety here.

Over the next two years, Marcus will curate an exhibit to open in the new Ballantine Gallery at the History Colorado Center in 2022. It will travel to History Colorado sites throughout the state.

As a historian, I feel a responsibility to find and preserve the stories of all members of the LGBTQ+ community and make those stories—the successes, the failures, and everything in between—available for everyone to learn from and add to. In the research I've done and in the fascinating conversations I've had with so many people, it's become more than obvious that as a community we've come a long way and made incredible advances that we should feel proud of. But it's also obvious that we're not finished in the fight for full acceptance. So, we have to learn from the past to become a truly inclusive and stronger community.

Soleil Hanberry-Lizzi

Soleil Hanberry-Lizzi


Denver native Soleil Hanberry-Lizzi recently graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in May 2021 with a BA in history and political science.  Soleil came out as transgender in 2019 and is looking forward to continuing her education in museum studies to document and uplift LGBTQ+ stories for future generations.  She is able to use her background in history, design, political science and customer service as an intern for History Colorado Center’s LGBTQ+ Collecting Initiative with guidance from the Gill Foundation Associate Curator of LGBTQ+ History.  

Madeline Ohaus

Madeline Ohaus


Madeline Ohaus is an aspiring museum professional with a background in archaeology, education and guest services.  She moved to Colorado in 2014 to attend the University of Colorado Boulder.  She Currently works as a Guest Services Ambassador with History Colorado while also interning with the Gill Foundation Associate Curator of LGBTQ History.  Madeline came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in 2016 and is passionate about preserving LGBTQ+ history and documenting these stories for generations to come.


About the Gill Foundation

The Gill Foundation is one of the nation’s largest funders of efforts to secure full equality for LGBTQ people. Started in 1994 by software entrepreneur Tim Gill, the Gill Foundation supports nonprofit organizations across the nation that advance the rights of LGBTQ Americans by conducting research, educating the public, telling stories, and working within the legal system. In its home state of Colorado, the foundation also makes grants to organizations working to lower barriers to economic opportunity and create a place where everyone has equal opportunity to thrive.