"If I am not for myself, who is for me?" : an examination of legal and ethical considerations concerning LGBTQ+ populations and collections in museums.


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The shift in institutional purpose from recreation to education in the 20th century forced museums to reconcile their collections and interpretations with modern, diverse audiences. Now in the 21st century, museums are beginning to reconcile with a new audience: sexual and gender minorities. Following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, museums nationwide began acquiring LGBTQ+ collections. With this new surge of collecting, this paper seeks to examine and analyze the ethical and legal protections being afforded to collections related to sexual and gender minorities within private, general, and federal institutions in order to gain a better understanding of the treatment of these collections in the museum field.



LGBTQ. William Way. National Museum of American History. National Park Service. Stonewall National Monument. Ethics. Museum.