In 2016 Kansas City installed a marker that celebrated its role as host to the first meeting of the National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations in 1966. The marker was the first to commemorate this historic gathering of gay rights activists as well as the first to recognize Missouri’s LGBTQ history. This article charts the effort to install Kansas City’s marker as a case study of the issues involved in documenting LGBTQ history. What began as a community collecting initiative quickly evolved into an effort that included students, city officials, and a federal heritage area. The authors—a founder of the community collection initiative, a public history educator, and a public history student—demonstrate how those involved attempted to navigate questions of ownership and shared authority. Ultimately, the authors ask public historians to see themselves as potential allies to, rather than authorities of, the communities with which they work.

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