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LGBTQ+

We embrace LGBTQ+ culture and Warhol’s role as a gay icon.

From his 1950s Boy Book drawings that lovingly depicted the sensuous male form to his poignant self-portraits in drag in the 1980s, Warhol openly expressed his queer identity in life and art, even when homosexuality was criminalized and suppressed in the United States.

Learn more about Warhol's life

Visiting the Museum

The museum’s restrooms are labeled for Ladies and Gentlemen, Warhol’s 1975 series of silkscreen portraits of drag queens recruited from the popular Greenwich Village nightclub The Gilded Grape.

The Warhol respects the right of its visitors to use the restroom that best matches their gender identity.

A print of a short-haired drag queen with an arm raised behind her head. Her face is warm brown, highlighted by golden patches of eyeshadow and red lips. Blue, yellow, and red shapes surround her like confetti, and a red bar covers the finger nails of her hand.

Andy Warhol, Ladies and Gentlemen, 1975
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.1.2411.8

LGBTQ+ Youth Prom

A large group of teenagers are in the lobby of The Andy Warhol Museum dancing. They are blurry due to their movement. There is pink lighting throughout the image. An image of Marilyn Monroe with Andy Warhol superimposed within it is in the background and to the left there is a photograph of Andy Warhol laying on a red couch on the wall. There are also two small video screens in the background hanging on the wall.

Photo by Sean Carroll

The Warhol hosts an annual LGBTQ+ Youth Prom, one of the only LGBTQ+ youth proms in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Prom is often considered a rite of passage and creates memories that last a lifetime. The Warhol’s Youth Prom offers a safe, gender-inclusive space where LGBTQ+ young people can celebrate with dinner, dancing, and artmaking. Prom is open to young people ages 13–20, and it is planned by a youth committee.

It’s a great event because I think you get to express who you are, and don’t have to be judged by other people who won’t understand.

LGBTQ+ Youth Prom attendee, 2017

Queer Performance

Three performers pose in a line, the performer in the front squats with his hands raised. Toward the bottom of the image we get a glimpse of audience members' heads

TQ Live in The Warhol theater, 2017

Photo by Sean Carroll

The Warhol is a destination for contemporary queer performance. The museum annually hosts TQ Live!, a locally-focused cabaret performance, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University School of Art. The Warhol has also recently presented artists such as Perfume Genius, Mark Eitzel, Narcissister and DarkMatter.

Dandy Andy: Warhol’s Queer History

A photograph of Andy Warhol dressed in drag. He wears very pale face makeup, a bold lip, and a short, curly wig.

Andy Warhol, Small Acetate (Self-Portrait in Drag), 1980
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
1998.3.1135.1a

On the last Saturday of each month, artist educators lead a museum tour that explores how Warhol’s sexuality influenced his work and shaped his relationship to the art world. The tours trace Warhol’s romantic relationships and queer identity against the backdrop of the historical gay rights movement in the United States.

I wonder whether it’s harder for 1) a man to be a man, 2) a man to be a woman, 3) a woman to be a woman, or 4) a woman to be a man.

Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B & Back Again), 1975