LGBTQ+ History Hub graphic

LGBTQ+ History Hub

This hub is a work in progress. Have some resources to add? Let us know!

In This Hub


Cambridge is a well-known leader in LGBTQ+ rights. The city was first in Massachusetts to perform gender-affirming surgery in 1972, and in 2004 it became first in the country to grant same-sex marriage licenses. City government has also seen many “firsts,” from the first openly gay Black mayor (Kenneth Reeves) in 1992, to the first openly lesbian city councilor (Katherine Triantafillou) in 1993 to the first openly lesbian Black mayor (E. Denise Simmons) in 2008. Since the mid-20th century, many of its residents and organizations have been vocal advocates for queer and trans rights alongside those of women, people of color and immigrants.

Despite a lack of publicly recognized, concerted efforts to advance LGBTQ+ rights before the past century, queer and trans Cantabrigians were present and active in many aspects of the city’s life since its founding. From stories of prominent residents, such as members of the Longfellow family to those whose experiences are not widely known, especially women, Bipoc individuals and members of the transgender community, these citizens have shaped all aspects of Cambridge and its history indelibly.

Articles + Presentations

Archival Material

Cambridge Women’s Heritage Project database

The City of Cambridge is aware of a loading issue and is working to fix this. Stay tuned!

Self-guided Tours

Oral Histories

Partner Organizations

Special thanks to Rayshauna Gray and Meta Partenheimer for compiling resources for this History Hub!