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Legacy Walk

The Legacy Walk is an outdoor public display in Chicago, Illinois, USA which celebrates LGBT contributions to world history and culture. According to its website, it is "the world's only outdoor museum walk and youth education program dedicated to combating anti-gay bullying by celebrating LGBT contributions to history."[1] It is the world's largest collection of bronze biographical memorials.[2]


Inductees (all are featured on bronze memorials)Edit

Name Year of Induction[3][4][5][6][7][8]


Jane Addams 2012
Alvin Ailey 2012
Reinaldo Arenas 2012
James Baldwin 2012
Margaret Chung 2012
Barbara Gittings 2012
Keith Haring 2012
Barbara Jordan 2012
Christine Jorgensen 2012
Frida Kahlo 2012
Alfred Kinsey 2012
Leonard Matlovich 2012
Harvey Milk 2012
Antonia Pantoja 2012
Bayard Rustin 2012
Alan Turing 2012
Two-Spirit people 2012 This is one of the four Historic or Social Milestones on the Legacy Walk
Oscar Wilde 2012
Ruth Ellis 2013
Lorraine Hansberry 2013 This makes her the first Chicago native honored on the Legacy Walk [4]
Frank Kameny 2013
Tom Waddell 2013
Walt Whitman 2013
Mychal Judge 2014
David Kato 2014
Audre Lorde 2014
Cole Porter 2014
Sally Ride 2014
Stonewall Riots 2014 This is one of the four Historic or Social Milestones on the Legacy Walk
Mildred Didrikson Zaharias 2014
Josephine Baker 2015
Leonard Bernstein 2015
Rudolf Nureyev 2015
Billy Strayhorn 2015
The Pink Triangle 2015 This is one of the four Historic or Social Milestones on the Legacy Walk
Sylvia Rivera 2016
Vito Russo 2016


The Legacy Project was conceived at the National March on Washington for GLBT Civil Rights in 1987. The advent of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, the first recognition of what would become National Coming Out Day (October 11), the first Act Up civil disobedience at the U.S. Supreme Court, and the simple experience of being at the March itself inspired the Legacy Walk's creators to propose an outdoor LGBT history installation that would leap-frog over the education system which failed to acknowledge and teach about LGBT contributions to world history and culture. The City of Chicago became the logical site because, in 1991, it had established the first Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame to recognize the contributions of Chicago's LGBT community; and because, in 1998, the City of Chicago had dedicated the "Rainbow Pylon" streetscape on North Halsted Street [9] to define the cultural and business nexus of Chicago's LGBT community. The dedication of the rainbow pylon streetscape brought to an end the eleven-year search for a site to house the outdoor museum. Planning for the Legacy Walk's creation and fundraising for its launch took 13 years. The inaugural dedication of the Legacy Walk's first eighteen (18) bronze memorials took place on National Coming Out Day, October 11, 2012 - exactly 25-years to the day that the idea was first conceived.[10][11][12][13] Each year on the anniversary of its creation, additional bronze memorials are added.


As of 2019 the Legacy Walk consists of thirty-eight (38) bronze memorials, each of which is digitally linked to a cloud-based system accessed either by scanning a QR Code or by activating a microchip on each marker with Near Field Communication technology. This opens a portal in users' smartphones to watch video and download education resources. The Legacy Walk is joined by its cousin - the traveling "Legacy Wall" - which began a state-wide tour in 2015. In 2017 the Legacy Wall began a national tour that has taken LGBT contributions to world history and culture on the road by visiting libraries, high school and university campuses, cultural institutions, civic plazas, and corporate headquarters across the country.


  1. ^ "The Legacy Project".
  2. ^ "PHOTOS: 7 LGBT Heroes Honored With Plaques in Chicago's Legacy Walk".
  3. ^ "2012 INDUCTEES".
  4. ^ a b "Boystown unveils new Legacy Walk LGBT history plaques". Chicago Phoenix. Archived from the original on 2016-03-13.
  5. ^ "Legacy Walk honors LGBT 'guardian angels'". 11 October 2014.
  6. ^ "PHOTOS: 7 LGBT Heroes Honored With Plaques in Chicago's Legacy Walk".
  7. ^ "Legacy Walk unveils five new bronze memorial plaques - 2342 - Gay Lesbian Bi Trans News - Windy City Times".
  8. ^ Windy City Times. "1315 - Legacy Walk unveils 2 new plaques under rainbow sky - Gay Lesbian Bi Trans News Archive - Windy City Times". Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  9. ^ "Chicago's Legacy Walk: LGBT History Comes to Halsted". EDGE Boston.
  10. ^ "'Legacy Walk' In Lakeview Honors LGBT Community « CBS Chicago".
  11. ^ "LGBT 101: Chicago Legacy Project Launches". The Huffington Post. 4 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Legacy Walk brings LGBT history to Halsted today". 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  13. ^ "History". Retrieved 2018-08-27.

External linksEdit