LGBT History Month is a 31-day celebration focusing on the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community. All month long, the site lgtbHistoryMonth.com is posting an icon a day with bios, videos, and links to information about their lives and contributions.
LGBT History Month and the website are celebrating 15 years, but LGBT History Month is much older.
The first Lesbian and Gay History Month was celebrated in 1994, The brainchild of High School History Teacher and the first openly gay public-school teacher in Missouri, Rodney Wilson. Mr. Wilson’s goal was to create a month-long observance of and the history of lesbian and gay rights and the civil rights movement. October was chosen not only because it includes the anniversary of the first LGBT march on Washington DC, October 14, 1979, and includes National Coming Out Day on October 11, but also because schools would be in session.
School sanctioned events have expanded to include Spirit Day October 20 – which encourages students to take a pledge against bullying and support LGTBQ+ youth by wearing purple. Solidary Week – October 5th-9th. Wear purple in support of LGBTQ+ youth on Spirit Day and Solidarity Week a student-centric campaign dedicated to building a supportive school community for LGTBQ+ students and educators.
As an event so entwined with the school year and many schools opting for distance learning, it may be time to go virtual. Start by checking each day at with at lgtbHistoryMonth.com for the latest icon, and maybe nominate an Icon for 2021. Then you could try one of the list movies – Out has a great list! and Time has a list of documentaries about LGTB History from Stonewall, through the Aids Crisis, to current issues with bigotry, homophobia, and racism in the American South.
Spend the month learning more about the contributions made by LGTBQ+ individuals, the history of the battle for equal rights, and equal treatment under the law. Take a moment to thank those who came before. Those who set the groundwork for the freedom of all individuals to be who they wish to be.