Quad Cities Pride in Memory (PIM), along with the Putnam Museum, Augustana College, Sarah Robb and Fourth Wall Films, are unveiling a set of six history panels that represent the lives of local LGBTQ+ residents from a variety of perspectives and relevant topics from the 1960s through the 2000s. As Clayton Peterson, one of the original organizers of PIM, says, “Gay wasn’t invented in the 60s,” but that’s where PIM essentially starts due to lack of records of earlier queer life in the QCs. The panels were produced after research and a series of interviews for PIM and created under the artistic direction of local artist Sarah Robb. The public is invited to a wine and cheese reception to celebrate the exhibit on Tuesday, October 11 starting at 7 p.m. at the Putnam Museum & Science Center, 1717 W. 12th Street in Davenport.

Items that will be in the temporary display include pins, T-shirts and memorabilia from a variety of contributors, most notably late local LGBTQ+ activists Clayton Peterson and Joyce Wiley. Joyce Wiley founded Quad Cities Affirming Diversity (QCAD), and her husband Jack says, “over the years, several thousand youth have come to QCAD events. Some say, ‘Joyce saved my life.’ The organization also helped support groups in local high schools. There was routinely a social gathering every Friday night for youth.”

A representative of Fourth Wall Films will be on hand to answer questions. The company is collaborating with PIM on a full-length documentary film about Quad Cities LGBTQ+ history, as well as with students from Augustana College who are taking individual histories and producing multi-media presentations, including public radio podcasts, a published booklet and more.

“Coming out is difficult no matter what your age or time of your life,” says PIM Steering Committee member Sara Myer. “ I was in my 30s  before I finally figured things out. I worried about my children and how it would affect them.  For years I worried that they didn’t love me.  Something like this project would have made all the difference – understanding myself and in helping my children.”

“All of this fascinating history would be lost to us if not for PIM,” says Steering Committee member Rev. Rich Hendricks. PIM and the Putnam Museum are seeking donations of historical items for a more elaborate exhibit of LGBTQ history and culture being planned for the future.

For more information, contact Rev. Rich Hendricks at (563) 940-9630, Jennifer Robb at (563) 271-8872 or Christina Kastell, Curator of History and Anthropology, Putnam Museum at (563) 324-1933.