WASHINGTON -- Ty Ginter wants to share a new way of looking at D.C. history: Through the lens of its lesbian past.
They’re offering a free historical walking tour through Southeast, D.C., where much of lesbian culture was centered.
Ginter is a graduate student in historic preservation at the University of Maryland. Ginter realized if they didn’t document and share this aspect of D.C.'s history, much of it could be lost forever.
Many of the places on the tour are no longer there: They’ve been bulldozed and built over to make way for the Nationals stadium and high-rise condos.
Still, Ginter wants to make sure this aspect of city history is preserved.
"Even though it’s not visible to us necessarily, it’s not there, and it still matters," Ginter said.
The walking tour is one element of Ginter’s Dykaries Oral history project. Ginter is also working with a filmmaker to interview former club owners and goers to create an oral history.
"A lot of gay heritage, especially LGBTQ heritage is very white-gay-male centric, and we’re starting to move out of that bubble," Ginter said. "Getting that heritage told is very important."
Friday’s walking tour will take place one week ahead the June 7 D.C. Dyke Walk -- which is making a comeback after a 12 year hiatus. One of the walk organizers, Mary Quintero-Wright, said she’s looking forward to the walk- and feeling a connection to what she feels is her own personal story.
"I’m excited for the tour to feel that connection with my history," Quintero-Wright said. "I don’t have many people in my life that I would consider queer elders or mentors. So I’m excited to feel connected with my city and my queerness."
All are welcome to join both the walking tour and D.C. Dyke Walk. The walking tour starts at 6 p.m. Friday, May 31 from the N St., entrance of the Nationals stadium. It's free of charge.