We Were Always Here

LGBTQ+ History and Colonial America

We Were Always Here: LGBTQ+ History and Colonial America

Join two esteemed scholars as we illuminate LGBTQ+ history through the prism of Colonial America, bring to life individuals whose contributions shaped the new nation, illustrate what life was like for those who lived outside of gender and sexual norms in the era, and discuss the importance of diverse and inclusive scholarship – and the challenges therein – as we revisit what we know as our “founding story.”

The program is generously supported by the Lowell Institute.


Monday, June 20 2022

Admission is free.


About the Participants

Dr. Megan Victor is an anthropologist who specializes in historical archaeology from the 17th through the 19th century. In particular, they are interested in commensal politics, drinking spaces, trade and exchange, informal economy, and gendered spaces. Dr. Victor has worked extensively on archaeology of the English Colonial World in North America, including excavations at the fishing village and trading post on Smuttynose Island within the Isles of Shoals, Maine (1623-1780s), Virginia’s colonial capital of Williamsburg, including the eighteenth-century Raleigh Tavern (a favorite of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson), and sites throughout the 17th and 18th-century Chesapeake Bay. It is within the Atlantic World and the English Colonial World that much of their current research takes place – the Molly House Project. The other geographic focus of Dr. Victor’s research is that of the American West, with an eye to the mining frontiers of the 19th century. It is within this sphere their second ongoing research project, the Highland City Project, takes place. Dr. Victor received their B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan (2010), their M.A. in 2012 and their Ph.D. in 2018, both from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Dr. Victor is currently an Assistant Professor at Queens College-CUNY.

Dr. Michael Bronski is an independent scholar, journalist, and writer who has been involved in social justice movements since the 1960s. He has been active in gay liberation as a political organizer, writer, publisher and theorist since 1969. He is the author of numerous books including A Queer History of the United States (Beacon Press) which won the 2011 American Library Association Stonewall Israel Fishman Award for Best Non- Fiction. In 2014 he published You Can Tell Just by Looking and Twenty Other Myths about LGBT Life and People. In 2019 he published A Queer History of the United States for Young People. He is Professor of the Practice in Professor of the Practice in Activism and Media in the Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality at Harvard University.