Philadelphia Queer Elders Project

The Philadelphia Queer Elders Project, an archival exhibition and series of programming curated by Anna Pachner and Katie Rauth, aims to celebrate elders’ position in the queer community, highlighting threads of second-wave, lesbian-feminist history and how they translate into contemporary queer thought and space. Stemming from a box of lesbian-centered zines from the 1970s through 1990s found on a roadside in Burlington, VT, and Pachner’s archival Instagram account @boxofvintagegayzines that followed, the project presents excerpts of these publications that provide an in-depth look at snapshots of queer lives as told through nationally, regionally and locally circulated writing.

The archival aspect of the exhibition was supplemented with extensive programming and collaboration with other Philadelphia artists and community organizers in an ongoing series of ancillary events that celebrate queer elders and build intergenerational queer community. Community partners included the John C. Anderson Apartments, writers’ nonprofit Blue Stoop, and West Philadelphia queer community chorus Trust Your Moves.