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  • Rev. Dr. Selma Massey, pastor at Whosoever Ministry UCC

Congregation Looks to LGBTQ Community to Help Develop Virtual Museum

Phase One of the American Museum of LGBTQ History is Underway at Whosoever Ministry UCC

By |2019-05-15T16:34:20-04:00April 3rd, 2019|Uncategorized|

When Whosoever Ministry became a part of the United Church of Christ, the congregation shared their desire to develop a virtual museum containing pictures, images and keepsake items that highlight LGBTQ lives. That vision is coming to life, according to Rev. Dr. Selma Massey, pastor at Whosoever Ministry UCC.
“We shared the importance of developing a footprint for our community so that we can educate and empower those who will follow us,” said Massey.
She said what will be known as the American Museum of LGBTQ History aims to “capture our history, with the ups and downs, struggles and accomplishments through photos, videos, memorabilia, and headline news stories that will stimulate conversation and restore a sense of pride for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.”
Phase one of this project is in the works. Massey said the congregation is collecting photographs and items from around the country to be on display. The museum will be accessible to anyone who has a computer, smart phone or tablet. A preview of what is to come will be available on the Whosoever Ministry website,, this fall.
“In the privacy and comfort of one’s home or office, viewers will travel through our collection visually and discover that gay lives matter,” said Massey, noting that the concept is similar to the old Look Magazine that told stories often without words. “We will let the pictures, videos, news articles and assorted treasures stand for themselves. Visitors will be inspired by the numerous contributions. Indeed, a picture tells a thousand stories.”
Massey said there was a demand for this kind of museum.
“There is need to tell our own stories and educate the world in a deliberate and credible manner. Surely, the LGBTQ community tells our story best,” she said.
Phase two of the museum project is scheduled to preview in the summer of 2021. Massey confirmed there will be a physical location in Detroit, a Welcome Center, for visitors and travelers, where donated items will be logged in, archived and engraved with the donor’s name and hometown.
When asked about what kind of support Massey has received from the church community, she said, “Whosoever Ministry has never backed away from expressing important truths. Regardless of the potential barriers to our mission, we are encouraged by the historical work of the United Church of Christ. This denomination has supported the LGBTQ community for decades. The UCC ordained the first openly gay person before it was popular to be inclusive. The UCC was an instrumental partner in the movement for marriage equality.”
Although traditional churches may not be as welcoming initially, Massey said she believes they will come around.
“As the virtual American Museum of LGBTQ History gains increased momentum, and as society continues to evolve in time, there are those who will appreciate this educational, social, cultural and inspirational treasure. This important LGBTQ footprint will remind people that we have made tremendous contributions to society and the world. Our role, as a museum, is to collect, document, present and preserve our legacy for others to gain a wider appreciation for our community in America and eventually the world virtually.”
Anyone interested in submitting photos and materials to archive and share, please email [email protected]

About the Author:

Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.
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