Congressional Cemetery, currently led by gay President Paul K. Williams, is believed to be the world’s only cemetery with a LGBT section. Although earlier LGBT burials are located in HCC, the gay corner began in 1988 with Leonard Matlovich. Matlovich was a gay rights advocate who appeared on the cover of Time magazine in his Air Force uniform with the heading “I am a homosexual,” an open proclamation against the exclusion of gay individuals from the U.S. military. His decision to be interred in Congressional Cemetery incited a generation of LGBT activists to choose the cemetery as their final resting place. In addition, the cemetery’s policy of encouraging interesting, unique, and poignant headstones and inscriptions has led to efforts to educate future LGBT individuals of the struggles their forbears experienced. HCC is an active cemetery with many members of the LGBT community currently buying plots.
Join us for a free docent-led tour of the LGBT graves at Congressional Cemetery on June 10th and 17th: registration is necessary, as space is limited. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water. The tour will last about an hour and will meet inside the front gate at Congressional Cemetery.