You Can Help
Contribute to Colorado's LGBTQ+ history by:
- Sharing your story
- Donating objects that tell the story of the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado
- Spreading the word to friends and family to contribute their stories and materials
If you have questions or would like to participate in this project, contact:
Gill Foundation Associate Curator of LGBTQ+ History
History Colorado Center
1200 Broadway Denver, CO 80203
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.
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 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.