Making History: Kansas City and The Rise of Gay Rights- An Exhibit and A Response

Logo for Phoenix Society for Kansas City, Missouri

Making History: Kansas City and The Rise of Gay Rights is a student-centered design initiative from 2016 that detailed the city’s role in the history of gay rights liberation. In 2021, the visual panels were exhibited in the Missouri State Capitol for the state’s bicentennial. The work was censored and removed after four days due to complaints from a legislative aide, receiving national and international attention. 

Making History: Kansas City and The Rise of Gay Rights – An Exhibit and A Response brings those panels into conversation with students from Ruben Castillo’s KCAI Printmaking course The (Printed) Queer Archive. The works in this exhibition propose a future with a critical eye on dominant cultural narratives. Collectively, this work expands the archive, critiques institutions, creates new counterpublics, and builds space for queer feelings at the intersection of identity, race, sexuality, liberation, and memory.

The exhibit is available for viewing at the Kansas City Public Library Central Branch from June 4 through August 21.

Related Events

  • Wed Jun 8, Informal public opening reception, 6-8pm 
  • Thu Jun 30, “One Step Forward, Two Steps Backlash”, a presentation by Stuart Hinds on the history of backlash against LGBT community and the trajectory of this exhibit, followed by brief Q&A. 5:30 reception, lecture at 6pm
  • TBA in August, Artist Panel Discussion, reception 5:30, discussion at 6pm
More information from KCPL

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Case dimensions: 5’ long x 30” wide x 9” high sitting atop 3’ legs

Glass exhibit table


The First Floor Gallery is located just inside the main entrance of the Miller Nichols Library.

Wall with exhibit content