The Real Rainbow Row Leah Greenberg Postcard Collection, College of Charleston Special Collections

Welcome to the SC LGBTQ Project’s tour of Charleston, The Real Rainbow Row. Initially conceived and mounted in 2014, it was the first step taken by Special Collections in the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library to begin documenting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer life in the lowcounty and beyond.

Since the creation of this historical tour, the project has expanded. In 2018, with funding from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and generous community support, a joint archival and oral history program was launched. The archive now holds dozens of collections that document LGBTQ life from the 1850s on. Included are the papers of leading LGBTQ individuals and organizations, as well as scores of oral histories representing all aspects of SC’s diverse community. The project seeks further contributions of photographs, diaries, memoirs, religious and institutional records, as well as Pride, bar, and other ephemeral and related items. Input and suggestions from individuals regarding archival materials and oral histories are eagerly sought. Tax-deductible financial contributions are necessary to keep the Project active and growing.

While the SC LGBTQ: Oral Histories, Archives and Outreach Project is dedicated to documenting history, it is also changing it. Combating invisibility while amassing proof of a community’s historical presence and continuing contributions benefits all.

The Real Rainbow Row: A Self Guided Walking Tour Map

Check out the map below for a self-guided tour of the Real Rainbow Row. All the information needed to explore Charleston’s LGBTQ history can be found in the Real Rainbow Row: A Self Guided Walking Tour Map.


Additional Resources

Visit the SC LGBTQ Oral History, Archives, and Outreach Project webpage to find out more. Click here.

To support the project by donating. Click here.

Checks, written to the College of Charleston Foundation, with “SC LGBTQ” in the memo line should be mailed to the College of Charleston Foundation, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC, 29424. Thank you.

Click to view a list of our donors.

All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Are you a College of Charleston alum?

Join the new CofC LGBTQ affinity group to encourage projects such as these by clicking here.

For general inquiries contact us at lgbtq@cofc.edu

And if you want more information on an in person tour of LGBTQ Charleston to benefit the Project contact Harlan Greene at greeneh@cofc.edu