A new project is documenting the history of LGBTQ people in the Deep South, a region that once all but forced gays, lesbians and others to live in hiding.
The nonprofit Invisible Histories Project has gathered volumes of information about gay life in Alabama, including decades-old directories of gay-friendly businesses; activist T-shirts; records from gay-rights groups; and rainbow-themed material.
The organization is also expanding into Mississippi and Georgia this year, and organizers hope to cover the entire Southeast within a few years.
Many records are currently being kept at Birmingham's public library.
Organizers hope to eventually open repositories that will allow community members to study materials and learn about decades of gay history.
Joshua Burford of the Invisible Histories Project says it's vital that the gay community knows its past.