Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

BRATTLEBORO — In 2000, Vermont was the first in the nation to legalize civil unions for same sex couples, and in 2009, Vermont became the first state to allow same-sex marriage by legislation rather than by court ruling.

On Friday at 7:30 p.m., the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, in partnership with the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont and Out in the Open (formerly Green Mountain Crossroads), presents a panel discussion on the key individuals, organizations, and moments in the history of queer activism in southern Vermont from the 1980s to the present day. Sponsored by The Samara Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, "Looking Back, Moving Forward: Four Decades of Queer Activism in Vermont" is free and open to the public.

Panelists will include therapist Michael Gigante, co-founder of the Brattleboro AIDS Project (now The AIDS Project of Southern Vermont); Kate Jerman, director of the Prism Center, which serves queer and trans communities at the University of Vermont; William J. Lippert Jr., founder of the Samara Foundation of Vermont (now the Samara Fund for LGBT Vermonters, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation); John Scagliotti, a filmmaker and producer known for his work on the award-winning documentaries "Before Stonewall" and After "Stonewall"; and Lucy Webb, president of the board of directors of the Brattleboro-based rural LGBTQ organization Out in the Open (formerly Green Mountain Crossroads).

This event is presented in conjunction with Performative Acts, a retrospective of work by the acclaimed photographer and activist Dona Ann McAdams, which includes McAdams' photographs of queer liberation and AIDS activism protests across several decades.

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center is in historic Union Station at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142. Major support is provided by its members and Allen Bros. Oil, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, C&S Wholesale Grocers, the Four Columns Inn, Sam's Outdoor Outfitters, and Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery.

For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit