YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — A traveling exhibit from the LGBT Center of Central PA History Project looks to tell the story of LGBTQ+ Cuban Refugees who came to Pennsylvania more than 40 years ago.
With Open Heart and Open Arms: LGBTQ Cuban Refugee and the LGBTQ Community’s Response to the Mariel Boatlift covers the little-known story of 125,000+ Cuban refugees who fled to the United States from April to October 1980. A sizeable number of those refugees were LGBTQ+ and were resettled in Pennsylvania especially in the Fort Indiantown Gap resettlement camp in Lebanon County.
The exhibit will be held at the York College Center for Community Engagement from June 2 to June 30. It will be open Mondays through Thursdays 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and by appointment. First Friday on June 4 the exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Anyone can attend just so long as they wear a mask and practice social distancing.
“Fort Indiantown Gap was one of only few resettlement processing centers in the country, so many of the refugees came through there,” Exhibit Project Manager Barry Loveland said. “And in that population was a significant number of LGBTQ+ Cubans enough that they decided to dedicate two barracks to provide temporary housing for them.”
To learn more information or explore the exhibit virtually, you can visit its official website through the link here.