What is a Pink Slip?
Visitors to the online archive will note the inclusion of what we call "pink slips" throughout the item list. You can find examples of pink slips in the archive here. Pink slips are an active attempt to mark the absences and missing stories of this archive. Said otherwise: we include a pink slip--and a description of what we think is missing--to make present the current limitations and flaws of this archive. Not doing so, we believe, suggests there is a coherent wholeness to the archive that we know does not exist. We want to actively disrupt such assumptions.
Pink slips are particularly important because the items and "evidence" that they often reference tend to silence and forget LGBTQ+ people and communities that are already often marginalized. That includes queer people of color, migrants, women, transgender and non-binary or fluid individuals, Indigenous and Native peoples, bisexuals and members of bisexual+ community, and working class queers. We want to hold ourselves accountable for thinking intersectionally always. That means forcing ourselves not just to tell the "easy" stories of the often white, cisgender people who contributed to the region's queer past, but also the many members of our community who are far too often forgotten in these and other storytelling projects.
In an attempt to make pink slips more than just another form of virtue signaling, we aim to both a) mark the number of pink slips that are open in the archive on our main page, b) seek to remedy or revise these pinks slips in some way within one (1) year of their establishment, and c) if we fail to do so, mark the pink slip in a darker and darker color until it is remedied. Is this potentially performative? Yes, but it is a way we are trying to direct attention in the archive, both of visitors and contributors, that we hope will produce meaningful action and, ultimately, a better archive.
We welcome comments about the pink slip program in our archive. Please send comments or suggestions to Tom Dunn, Director of the Queer Memory Project, or submit an anonymous comment on the bottom of the "Get Involved" tab on the main page.