LGBTQ+ History of Delaware project now available online

A collage of people, places and memorabilia related to LGBTQ+ history in Delaware.

Just in time for Pride Month 2024 this June, Delawareans can now explore the fully launched version of the LGBTQ+ History of Delaware: We Have Always Been Here project presented by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA).

The site, now live to the public at, is the culmination of a year-long intensive research project exploring the people, places and important documents, objects and memorabilia that have shaped queer history in the First State over the centuries.

“It’s been such an incredibly rewarding journey to pull this project together, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally share it with the public,” said Meg Hutchins, project lead and HCA’s engagement and collections manager. “Seeing these stories come together on this platform will hopefully shed a new light on an often overlooked group of people who have made an incredibly important mark on Delaware history, much more than many might know.”

A white woman with short gray hair and glasses, smiles at the camera while wearing a shirt that says “I Cannot Live without Books- Thomas Jefferson.”
Barbara Gittings, the “Mother of the Gay Rights Movement.” Photo courtesy of John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Center.

Among the stories highlighted in the project are the lives of lesbian activist Barbara Gittings, known to some as the “Mother of the Gay Rights Movement,” the impact of lawmaking and community building at Delaware Legislative Hall and Legislative Mall, as well as the long-lived impact of places like CAMP Rehoboth in Sussex County and the universal messages of love letters secretly sent more than 100 years ago. 

The project also includes dozens of photographs that illustrate decades of important historical stories found across Delaware’s three counties as well as a detailed timeline, an extensive list of definitions and LGBTQ+ resources statewide and beyond. 

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Delaware (GLAD) Members at New York City Pride circa 1980s. Photo courtesy of Ivo Dominguez Jr.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Delaware (GLAD) Members at New York City Pride circa 1980s. Photo courtesy of Ivo Dominguez Jr.

From the individual fonts and photos to the color palette tying together the website, each page and break-out was thoughtfully designed by the talented team at Delaware’s Government Information Center to capture key colors found throughout the LGBTQ+ community and its connection to the First State. Professional researcher Carolanne Deal worked directly with members of the community to collect their stories to ensure a holistic and diverse project outcome. The project would not have been possible without the significant guidance, input and assistance from dozens of individuals and organizations.

The project received initial support with funding from the Delaware Department of State in support of the elimination of racial injustice, racism, discrimination and exclusionary history.

It is HCA’s mission to practice inclusive history and embrace uncomfortable truths, differing perspectives and difficult narratives. It is HCA’s hope that this project will continue to grow even more in the future as more stories are shared by the community. To contact the project team, email

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