LGBTQ+ History & Archives of the Desert

About Us


To collect, preserve and make accessible the LGBTQ+ History of the Greater Palm Springs Area and the Coachella Valley.


To focus on documenting and preserving the history of the LGBTQ+ community of the Greater Palm Springs Area, and sharing that history with LGBTQ+ individuals, organizations, allies and the public.


gay bar cathedral city
Daddy Warbucks in Cathedral City 1980’s – Archival Photo

Why were gays & lesbians drawn to Palm Springs? Was it for the beauty of the desert, the winter weather, or the tendency to live and let live? Who were they? Were they only Hollywood celebrities? And what about the people who started LGBT businesses and organizations that helped make the Palm Springs area the welcoming place it is for the LGBTQ+ community now? Lots of questions and few answers, or at least in any one place or from any one source!

So it seemed obvious that it was time to begin collecting, preserving, and archiving the local LGBTQ+ history; not only for today’s community, but future generations as well.

In 2019, David Gray, a retired public relations professional, Julie Warren, Library & Public Services Manager of the Palm Springs Public Library, and Jordan Hammon, Archivist with the Palm Springs Historical Society, gathered together a group of LGBT community leaders to discuss the idea.

Working with the Founding Committee, the Archives was formed, and began building a timeline of local LGBTQ+ events, documenting information about LGBT businesses and organizations, was gifted some historic items, and began reaching out to the community.

Founding Committee Members Were:

Renee Brown
Jack Bunting
Ron deHarte
Gary Ewer
Brad Fuhr
Denise Goolsby
David L. Gray
Michael Green
Jordan Hammon
Lisa Middleton
Candice Nichols
David Powell
Julie Warren

Since then the Archives has continued to grow, hold exhibitions, programs, and share the LGBTQ+ History of the Desert.

Board Members

  • David L. Gray
    Co-Founder & Co-Director
    Retired Public Relations Professional
  • Julie Warren
    Co-Founder & Co-Director
    Palm Springs Public Library
  • Evan Gray
    Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce
  • Bob Machado
    Compass Rose Financial Planning
  • Jimmy Boegle
    Board Member
    Coachella Valley Independent LLC
  • Thomas E. Brown, PhD
    Board Member
    Retired Archivist
  • Ron deHarte
    Board Member
    Greater Palm Springs Pride
  • Brad Fuhr
    Board Member
    Gay Desert Guide
  • Denise Goolsby
    Board Member
    City of Palm Springs
  • Mark Lechter
    Board Member
  • David Powell
    Board Member
    Desert Business Association
  • Magi Raible
    Board Member
    Business Owner, CEO
  • Ronni Sanlo
    Board Member
    Retired Professor
  • Ector Simpson
    Board Member
    Mizell Center
  • William vanHemert
    Board Member
    DAP Health

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