The Gay Rub

Click to enlarge. Photo by Jenny Walters.

The Gay Rub is a project devoted to collecting rubbings from GLBTQ historical markers, signs, tombstones, cenotaphs, plaques, and monuments.

By gathering GLBTQ rubbings from across the globe, these public historic commemorations can be viewed at once. GLBT history and landmarks are underrepresented and under appreciated. The Gay Rub’s aim is to help draw more attention to the markers and the GLBT significance that prompted them.

What does Gay Rub mean?

Rub as a verb can mean to upset someone “Rub someone the wrong way.” It can also mean truth “That’s the rub” or social friction “He got a lot of rub for that.” It’s also slang for sexual activity. Most importantly, it is an abbreviation for the word rubbing. All meanings apply in this situation. GLBT people have caused social friction and others find our lifestyle upsetting. The Gay Rub collection will be an assembling of our gay truth and the rubbings that come from it.


October 15 – October 23, 2018

University of South Florida
Centre Gallery, Marshall Center
4202 E. Folwer Ave,
Tampa, FL 33620
Opening Reception: October 12 at 6pm


August 28 – September 28, 2015

Webster University
The Cecille R Hunt Gallery
470 E Lockwood Ave,
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Opening Reception: August 28 at 8pm

January 20 – February 23, 2015

Appalachian State University
Smith Gallery
731 Rivers Street
Boone, NC 28608


March 20 – 31, 2014

Loyola Marymont University
University Hall Atrium
1 LMU Drive
Marina Del Ray, CA CA 90045


February 2 – 23, 2014

ONE Archives Gallery & Museum
626 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Opening reception: Saturday, February, 1, 2014, 6-9pm

Submissions are being sought for rubbings of GLBT historical markers, signs, tombstones, cenotaphs, plaques, and monuments from around the world.