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Exhibit Opening | Through A Rainbow Lens

June 5 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Discover Fran's Place, your go-to bar for exciting drinks and fun! Look for the sign hinting at our awesome game room inside. Spot us easily by our tree-lined entrance with a welcoming door and a charming square window above. Come join the fun at Fran's Place!

“Through A Rainbow Lens, A Reflection on Lynn’s LGBTQ+ History,” an exhibit that spans close to a century of city history, covers everything from Lynn’s nearly 20 gay bars, to members of the city’s LGBTQ+ community who went on to national fame. The project features more than two dozen filmed interviews with members of the city’s LGBTQ+ community, some dating back 40 years, as well as over 500 photos, fliers, posters, and dozens of news articles.

The exhibit opens with a public reception June 5 at 5:30 at the Lynn Museum & Arts Center followed by a panel discussion at 6:00 moderated by Cristela Guerra, senior arts and culture reporter at WBUR. The panel features Dr. Drew Darien, Humanities Advisor, Cristian Recinos, web designer, and Dr. Pat Gozemba, LGBTQ+ History Advisor. The exhibit runs through October 31.

United Lynn Pride produced the project in collaboration with Salem State University, the Lynn Museum & Arts Center, and The History Project, an LGBTQ+ archive in Boston, MA. United Lynn Pride received a $20,000 grant from the “Expand Mass Stories” initiative of Mass Humanities.

Project Director Jim Moser says we were surprised by what we learned in the interviews, such as:

  • The oldest LGBTQ+ bar in Massachusetts opened on Lynn Harbor in 1937.
  • The first couple in the US to be issued a same sex marriage license met while working at the GE plant in Lynn.
  • In 1969 Lynn had a big and wild waterfront LGBTQ+ bar described as “a palace.”
  • Two gay bars, surrounded by flames, survived Lynn’s great fire of 1981.
  • A gay magazine was produced in Lynn.
  • and much more.

The exhibit features a panel that was donated by St. Pius V Catholic community to the National AIDS Memorial quilt.

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About United Lynn Pride

The mission of United Lynn Pride is to unite, engage, and empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community in the city of Lynn, MA through community events, education, outreach, and other various forms of support.

About The History Project

The History Project is Boston’s LGBTQ+ community archives. The History Project is focused exclusively on documenting and preserving the history of New England’s LGBTQ+ communities and sharing that history with LGBTQ individuals, organizations, allies, and the public. The History Project is a community archive – a repository, historical society, and museum for the LGBTQ+ community’s history. THP is an independent non-profit organization founded in 1980 that holds LGBTQ+ historical records and ephemera, supports LGBTQ+ history research, and shares LGBTQ+ history through public exhibits and events.

About The Lynn Museum & Arts Center

In the heart of Lynn’s Arts & Cultural District, the Lynn Museum was founded in 1897 to collect, preserve and illuminate the city’s remarkable history. The museum has evolved into a vibrant cultural center, expanding its footprint to include the LynnArts building at 25 Exchange Street. The Lynn Museum/LynnArts offers changing exhibitions and innovative youth and adults programs, which engage and enrich Lynn’s diverse community. The Lynn Museum encourages active participation in exploring the city’s past while shaping a vision for its future.

About Salem State University

Known as the Commonwealth’s civic engagement university, Salem State University, established in 1854, is a comprehensive, public institution of higher learning located approximately 15 miles north of Boston, Massachusetts. One of the largest state universities in the Commonwealth, Salem State enrolls about 6,500 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers 32 undergraduate programs and graduate programs that offer degrees in 24 fields. The university also has a continuing education division that offers both credit and non-credit programs. Salem State proudly participates in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement and has shown a student voting rate above the national average, earning it a Silver Seal from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. In 2020, Salem State received Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The university is designated a Best for Vets College by Military Times.

About Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities, a non-profit foundation based in Northampton, creates opportunities for the people of Massachusetts to transform their lives and build a more equitable commonwealth through the humanities. Since its founding in 1974, the organization has provided millions of dollars in support of thousands of humanities projects across the Commonwealth. Established as the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Mass Humanities is an independent programming and grant-making organization that receives support from the NEH and the Massachusetts Cultural Council as well as private sources.

The above information is courtesy of United Lynn Pride.


June 5
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Lynn Museum
590 Washington Street
Lynn, MA 01901 United States
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