Stonewall National Museum and Archives Opens Its Wilton Drive Space
It’s very important to remember the odious legacy of Anita Bryant. Her successful character assassination of Florida’s gays and lesbians in 1977 stripped us of the few civil rights advances we had received at that time, and her actions made sure we wouldn’t make any sizable strides for years afterward. Some of the damage she caused took decades to undo; her quest to discredit gays as child molesters caused the state legislature to ban gays from adopting children, a ban that was only reversed by court decision four years ago.
Now, Florida’s gay community is further along than ever before in the quest for equality. The Stonewall National Museum and Archives celebrates the grand opening of its new gallery space at 2157 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors with a new exhibit, "Days Without Sunshine: Anita Bryant’s Anti-Gay Crusade," because the people at Stonewall believe an educated public is key in ensuring that such a regrettable scenario won’t happen again to anyone else.
I got a chance to talk to Stonewall National Museum and Archives Executive Director David Jobin this week about this exhibit, the new gallery space, and what’s coming up later this year.
How are things going with the gallery space on Wilton Drive?
Things are going well. Our initial dream was to be ready to open at the end of the week of June 2, because we wanted it to coincide with the screening of The Day It Snowed in Miami at the Gateway. We wanted people to see the movie on Thursday and march into the gallery on Friday. Now it looks like we will be opening on June 19, which times us perfectly with Stonewall Pride.
Tell us about your upcoming exhibits and what we can hope to see this year.
We want to open our doors on June 19, two days before Stonewall Pride, and the exhibit we’ll be showing starting on that date will be the exhibit that was inspired by The Day It Snowed in Miami, called "Days Without Sunshine: Anita Bryant’s Anti-Gay Crusade."