Exhibit Explores ‘Coming Out in Queens’

“Memorabilia recalling the outcry over the 1990 hate crime murder of Julio Rivera in Jackson Heights and the anti-gay opposition to the ‘Children of the Rainbow’ school curriculum,” writes Andy Humm on a part of the “Lavender Line” exhibit at the Queens Museum. (Photo by Humm for Gay City News)

Five days after the Queens Pride parade, “The Lavender Line: Coming Out in Queens” multimedia exhibit opened at the Queens Museum. Borough officials attended the June 9 opening reception, including City Council members Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer, whose personal items make up much of the exhibit.

Dromm, who represents East Elmhurst, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, co-founded the Queens Pride Parade following the murder of Julio Rivera in 1990 and contention over the multicultural “Children of the Rainbow” curriculum which included a part on respecting the gay community, writes Gay City News’ Andy Humm. He added, “It was that controversy that brought public school teacher Dromm out publicly.” Among the photos, flyers, audio and videos that make up the exhibit, those with a historical angle come primarily from Dromm.

Van Bramer, who represents parts of Astoria, Dutch Kills, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside, also has personal items on display “including the St. John’s University gay student group banner he helped carry in the first Pride march in 1993 in Jackson Heights.”

In an article for Queens Chronicle on the opening reception, reporter Mark Lord included statements from Van Bramer who:

…took a moment to suggest that “pride is a deeply personal thing. This gay boy from Astoria … as a teenager, came out of the closet and discovered it was OK to like other gay boys.” Van Bramer then introduced his husband and his father to a rousing ovation from the audience.

“For too long too many people told us that who we were was wrong,” he said.

Go to Gay City News and Queens Chronicle for more details on “The Lavender Line” exhibit, which runs through July 30, 2017.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*