“The theme of the Trump Administration with regard to LGBT people is erasure. And in this time of erasure, it is vital that gay, lesbian, and trans Americans understand their history and the roots of this terrible discrimination in the military,” Charles Francis, President of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., told the Los Angeles Blade.
Francis, an archival activist, knows LGBT history as keeper of the Frank Kameny flame. Kameny’s “Gay is Good” picket signs “were placed on the platform. The Smithsonian curator laid them alongside the writing table where Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence; the inkwell used by Lincoln when signing the Emancipation Proclamation; and the pin worn by Alice Paul who went to jail picketing the White House for women’s suffrage. ‘Frank, this is where the pickets fit into American history, the Smithsonian curator said,” Francis wrote in an Oct. 2011 essay for the Washington Blade describing the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. founder’s artifacts in the Library of Congress’ “Creating the United States” exhibit.