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Anti-Masquerading Ordinance of 1898

How a 19th-century ordinance affected the lives of LGBTQ+ people for decades

The Masquerade Laws, woman on horse

Anti-Masquerading Ordinance

In celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and recognizing the vibrant community of Angelenos that work at the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, we are bringing you stories from L.A.’s LGBTQ+ past and present. Los Angeles is home to many vibrant and diverse LGBTQ+ communities, and the Anti-Masquerading Ordinance of 1898 is just one story of people, places, organizations, and events that have shaped Los Angeles and beyond.

Watch Effie Ralli, Gallery Interpreter, as she shares with us the history of the Anti-Masquerading Ordinance of 1898 and how it affected the lives of LGBTQ+ people for decades. 

Effie Ralli Headshot

Effie Ralli (she/her) is a Lead Gallery Interpreter at NHMLAC. She studied Human Geography, focusing on gender, cities, and cartography. She created the map for this series to visualize the connections between the highlighted stories: "Often we have to seek out the LGBTQ past because our stories have historically been hushed or hidden... but they are truly everywhere." If you see her around the museum, be sure to ask her about the evolution of camelids!

HELP US DOCUMENT L.A.’S LGBTQ+ PAST AND PRESENT BY SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCES

These stories are just a few representations of LGBTQ+ stories in L.A.  In every neighborhood and community, LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations have historically shaped the city, and they continue to do so today. Visit ONE Archive’s Queer Terrains to explore a map of more historic locations. 

We also want to hear your stories! If you were to make a map of your LGBTQ+ L.A., what would you add? What places have shaped you and the communities you are a part of? Where do you see LGBTQ+ history being made today? 

Upload a photo on your Instagram story and tell us why that place is significant to you. Tag @NHMLA with #PrideMonth and your post could be featured on @NHMLA’s Stories!