With LGBTQ+ History Month coming to a close, Wisconsin Democrat Mark Pocan filed two bills to start the process to create an American LGBTQ+ History Museum. 

“As our community faces unprecedented attacks and attempts to erase our history, we must preserve and protect our stories for future generations,” Pocan said in a statement. “It is vital to remember our collective past – particularly when certain states, and even Members of Congress, seek to constrain and repeal existing rights by passing bills that harm LGBTQI+ youth and our community at large.”

This isn’t the first time a LGBTQ+ history museum was proposed. Flashback to 2013 — former Smithsonian researcher Tim Gold and his husband Mitchell Gold worked to raise funds for a queer history museum. However, that project never came to be. 

The two bills filed would create a committee to study what it would take to create the museum and then bring it into the Smithsonian institution. Both bills would have to be voted on and signed into law in order to form a new Smithsonian museum addition. 

The first bill is designed to establish an eight-member commission made up of experts in museum planning and/or LGBTQ research and culture. This commission would take the lead in an 18-month-long study seeking to determine the viability of establishing the museum. This would include, but isn’t limited to, developing fundraising plans, looking at the costs and availability of collections and submitting a plan to Congress to establish and construct the museum. Once the commission has completed its study, Congress would vote on the second bill which would, if approved, officially designate the museum. 

“Let’s tell these stories, the good and the bad, and honor the many contributions the LGBTQI+ community has made to this nation with a museum in Washington, D.C.,” Pocan said. ““I look forward to the passage of this legislation and to visiting this museum in the near future.”

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