Christopher Newport University

LGBTQ+ History Month Lecture

The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program

and the LGBTQ+ and Allies Faculty/Staff Affinity Group Present

Queer Past and Present:

What Local Queer History Can Teach Us About Living Today

A Talk by Professor Cathleen Rhodes

Co-sponsored by the Reiff Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and the Department of History

*Honors and PLP Discovery events


Book bans, debates over bathroom access, and the growing influence of small but vocal groups of parents pressuring school boards and public libraries to adopt anti-trans and anti-gay policies do not inspire hope that a queer future will be more liberatory than the past. Events from local queer history like Anita Bryant’s 1977 visit to Norfolk on her “New Creation Crusade” and the fight to keep Our Own, the local lesbian and gay newspaper, on public library shelves in the 1980s offer a roadmap for thinking about and responding to anti-LGBTQ legislation and a political climate hostile to queer people. 


Cathleen Rhodes is a master lecturer in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Old Dominion University. In 2015, Rhodes founded the Tidewater Queer History Project and has since built Tidewater's largest digital repository of local queer history and physical archive of historical objects. She recently worked with a small team of ODU faculty, staff, and students to create an immersive virtual reality experience that recreates local LGBTQ spaces from the past. She also serves as director of Gay Cultural Studies at ODU, an initiative that supports LGBTQ research and creative projects among students and faculty.

For more information, please contact Dr. Laura Puaca at

Monday, October 23, 2023 at 5:30pm to 6:45pm

Freeman Center, 201

Event Type

Lecture, Academic, Student Activities, Culture & Identity, Social Awareness

Department of History
Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Recent Activity