Denver Pride March 1978 MSS.1832

We are Colorado

LGBTQ+ Coloradans

Why now? 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.

A more inclusive strategy for understanding and sharing history is coming to Colorado in 2020. 

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.

Denver Pride Collage 1979

Denver Pride Collage 1979

History Colorado

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.

Denver Pride Collage 1981

Denver Pride Collage 1981

History Colorado

Read the Colorado Heritage feature on the history of Denver's Gay Pride celebration.

Aaron Marcus, Gill Foundation Associate Curator of LGBTQ+ History

Aaron Marcus 
Gill Foundation Associate Curator of LGBTQ+ History

History Colorado

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. 

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.

We’ll know we’re succeeding when more perspectives and experiences are part of History Colorado.

Aaron Marcus, Gill Foundation Associate Curator of LGBTQ+ History


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.

About Aaron Marcus

Aaron Marcus has been with History Colorado since 2008 and worked in the Digital Imaging Studio from 2012 to 2019. In that role, he generated artifact photos that were used in local, national, and international media and publications, expanding access to History Colorado's collections. 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 2013 he researched and wrote the essay “PrideFest: A History of Denver’s Gay Pride Celebration” for Colorado Heritage magazine, covering forty years’ worth of Denver’s LGBTQ history. In his new role, he looks forward to continuing his ongoing research and working with the community to strengthen our contemporary LGBTQ collections.

About History Colorado

Inclusive, values-driven, and intentional, History Colorado has become a force for finding new ways to serve people in Colorado. In 2018 History Colorado provided programs to more than 18,000 students in their own schools, and assisted more than 40 schools with bus funds, to expand efforts that now serve more than 85,000 students annually. Its all-day Hands-On History program at El Pueblo History Museum responds to the four-day school week that is currently administered by 61% of Colorado school districts.