First National LGBT Veterans Memorial To Be Built At The Congressional Cemetery In Washington D.C.

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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  1. When he died of AIDS in 1988, Leonard could never have imagined that so many individuals gays and gay couples would choose to be buried near him — or that some would even coose to be married next to his grave. While, in fact, he intended his own gravestone to be a memorial to gay veterans (which is why it doesn’t bear his name), this will be a wonderful, long overdue extension of his idea. Recently, in a first imaginable to virtually no one back then because the technolgy didn’t exist yet, he became the first gay activist to have his own “Quick Response [QR] Code.” Previously used mostly in museums, Washington DC’s “Congressional Cemetery is now the world’s largest outdoor encyclopedia of American history, with encyclopedia articles available with a quick scan by a smartphone of QR codes that are placed next to the Cemetery’s stone monuments. The phone will then display a Wikipedia article on the person buried or memorialized on the site, in the preferred language of the owner of the phone. Six QR codes were tested at the Cemetery including those next to the cenotaphs of President John Quincy Adams, and pre-Civil War congressional leaders Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, abolitionist Owen Lovejoy, and Cong. Tom Lantos, but the most popular scan was for the article on Vietnam veteran and gay activist Leonard Matlovich.” – Wikimedia. Happy with the project’s response, now over 60 graves/cenotaphs are coded. Leonard’s Wikipedia entry is currently available in four languages.

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