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.
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.
LGBTQ+ Youth Prom
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
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
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.