Although Charles Village is better known for its colorful “painted ladies,” the neighborhood was home to many of the activists and institutions at the heart of the city’s LGBT community in the 1970s and 1980s. Whether you lived this history or are learning it for the first time, this tour is a unique opportunity to explore the places that shaped the growth of Baltimore’s LGBT community and civil rights movement.
Many know Mount Vernon as the home of Baltimore’s Pride Parade as well as the city’s oldest gay and lesbian bars and businesses. But that only is only a small part of the LGBTQ history and historic places found in this neighborhood! Join Baltimore Heritage for a 90-minute walking tour of the neighborhood’s queer heritage landmarks.
City Paper writer (and Baltimore Heritage volunteer) Kate Drabinski responded to the news that the 43-year-old gay bar the Hippo is closing this year with a thoughtful article on the work being done by archivists, scholars and community members to preserve LGBTQ history in Baltimore:
“Louis Hughes, now 71, moved to Baltimore in 1970 and came out in 1974. In 1975 he helped found the Baltimore Gay Alliance, which is now the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore (GLCCB). He served on the community advisory board of Johns Hopkins Hospital and worked tirelessly with others to pass the Baltimore City and Maryland lesbian and gay rights bills, work that took years. After those bills were passed, he helped with trainings for police, social workers, teachers, and the general public to help what he calls “the slow but sure process of change.” He now serves on the Baltimore Heritage LGBTQ history committee and helps lead tours of Baltimore’s “gayborhoods” of Mount Vernon and Charles Village.”