A global and historical first, the Legacy Walk will celebrate the lives and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to world history and culture. This outdoor museum will be dedicated in Chicago along a half-mile stretch of the “Northalsted Corridor” – the heart of the city’s diverse LGBT population.
On October 11, 2012 – the 25th anniversary of “National Coming-Out Day” – the first 18 solid cast bronze plaques will be affixed to the celebrated “Rainbow Pylons” on the Northalsted Streetscape.
Phase Two of the installation will be completed in the fall of 2013 when another 16 plaques bring the total number of markers in the installation to 34. Among Phase One’s inductees are such outstanding role models as Jane Addams, James Baldwin, Harvey Milk, Alvin Ailey, Barbara Jordan, and Oscar Wilde. Selection of the Phase Two inductees will be made in the spring of 2013 for induction the following October 11.
Legacy Project founder and executive director Victor Salvo first conceived of the Legacy Walk while attending the National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights in 1987 in Washington, D.C.
Overwhelmed by a shocking sense of loss in viewing the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt for the first time – and convinced the plague was destined to kill every gay person – Salvo became obsessed with learning about the historic contributions of LGBT people and the need to bring that history out of the shadows.
Salvo said, “Those of us who have survived both the AIDS epidemic and the cultural tumult of the last 25 years owe it to our ancestors to make sure they are not forgotten – who will remember who came before us when we are gone? This recognition is long overdue.”
“The contributions the [LGBT] people have made to history and culture have been largely redacted from nearly every textbook ever written – leading to a world governed by stereotypes and misunderstanding that has left our children vulnerable to the bullying that springs from ignorance,” Salvo said.
He added, “The Legacy Walk will give families a place where they can come to learn about the contributions of people like their children…it will give hope to our young people who are forced to grow up with no historically significant role models – not because those role models don’t exist, but because no one knows about them. If we can get people who might grow up to become bullies to stop and reconsider [then] we will have accomplished something. The possibilities for education and healing are limitless.”
Source: The Legacy Project