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Relations between AHA and Committee for LGBT History strained by annual meeting

Tensions between the AHA and the Committee for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History were evident in the CLGBTH’s business meeting – there have been miscommunications between the two groups, and a number of members felt that the AHA had not done enough to inform its membership of alternatives to accommodation at the Grand Hyatt. The AHA itself is not spending a huge amount of money at the Hyatt – the meeting rooms are pro gratis – and so the hotel will be making most of its money from the convention through historians booking rooms and patronizing the Hyatt’s bars and restaurants.

According to one committee member, not enough has been done to encourage members to avoid purchasing, where possible, from stores, bars, and restaurants within the Grand Hyatt. The threaded mini-conference, however, has been the most attention the AHA has ever paid to LGBTQ history, with the seminars prominently positioned in the guidebook and drawing fairly large crowds, by AHA standards.

The CLGBTH plans to pose some serious questions to the AHA over its decision-making process for the annual meeting and for specific information about the number of AHA members who booked rooms at the Grand Hyatt. The CLGBTH’s most important goalis to avoid this sort of situation in the future, and will be asking the AHA to formulate its own contingency strategies.

In order to publicize the controversy over the Grand Hyatt, many members of the CLGBTH plan to demonstrate in the protest planned for 2:00 PM outside the hotel. Several members also plan to hand out pamphlets in the Grand Hyatt and Grand Marriott throughout the day encouraging convention-goers to avoid purchasing any items in the Grand Hyatt. The motto of the boycott is “don’t eat, meet, or greet” at the Grand Hyatt, and the CLGBTH plans to publicize ways that historians can comply with the boycott.