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Beyond the Closet Walking Tour

The persecution and liberation of Washington DC's LGBTQ community

  • 2 hr 30 min
  • 25 US dollars
  • 17th Street Northwest

Service Description

Today Washington DC is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly jurisdictions in the country with gay-friendly laws, an inclusive school curriculum, anti-discrimination protections, and marriage equality. But from the 1940s-1970s, this city was ground zero for actively uncovering closeted gay federal government employees and firing them without justification. On this walking tour, you’ll see Washington DC’s iconic government buildings through the eyes of the committed government servants who were persecuted because of their sexual orientation. You’ll see the sites where the brave few chose to fight back and demand their civil rights. And you’ll see where they built their own communities and paved the way for today’s more inclusive city. Our country chose fear over competence and denied the service of hundreds of eminently qualified researchers, diplomats, and leaders. But in the end, learn how this discrimination caused the LGBTQ community to organize, to unite, and to emerge from the closet. PARENTAL ADVISORY: Tour contains non-graphic descriptions of sexual encounters, police harassment, and discrimination. Please contact for more information. Length: 2.5 - hour Meeting location: Farragut Square Included: The site of the first gay rights protest in the United States The White House, where the first openly lesbian employee was hired in 1977 DuPont circle, Washington DC’s “gayborhood” beginning in the 1970’s Former home to the state department and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), epicenter of the lavender scare. Between 1947 and 1973, between 5,000 and 10,000 federal employees were fired from or denied federal government jobs because they were accused of being gay

Upcoming Sessions

Cancellation Policy

To cancel or reschedule, please contact us at least 24 hours in advance.

Contact Details

  • Farragut Square, 17th Street Northwest, Washington, DC, USA


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