Condé Nast Traveler: This New Map Is Digitizing LGBTQ+ Travel Guides from the ’60s and Beyond

Condé Nast Traveler, with a thanks to Esther S.: This New Map Is Digitizing LGBTQ+ Travel Guides from the ’60s and Beyond. “In 1964, California businessman Bob Damron was filling a void. A frequent traveler himself, he began publishing his guides annually as a way to help queer individuals, particularly gay men, navigate both their hometowns and unfamiliar spaces (similar to the earlier Negro Motorist Green Book, which aided Black travelers). Damron’s guides, colorful and discreet, listed known queer haunts across the U.S., as well as their defining features. Now, [historian Eric] Gonzaba and co-primary investigator Amanda Regan are using Damron’s 1965-1980 books to map historical queer spaces, moving state by state in an effort to understand the trajectory of queer communities and place them in context. Their archival project, titled ‘Mapping the Gay Guides,’ is a collection of digital maps, each covering a year of Damron’s guides.”