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South Bend, like much of the U.S., has shown in recent years wider acceptance of the diversity of sexual and gender identity in people. Despite strides forward, acceptance is not complete nor universal.

In 2014, the Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center began collecting photographs, documents, and artifacts that reflect the experiences of LGBTQ people and their allies in what is known now as South Bend.

We share fifteen of them with you here today.

You can view hundreds more and listen to oral histories of people in our area who shared their unique experiences. Visit Michiana Memory, our partnership with the St. Joseph County Public Library, for free at