What a time to be alive! This statement sums up a myriad of thoughts and emotions because amid all the trauma, polarization, and vitriol - online or offline - we can still appreciate and never discount the progress we have made, especially in the context of this special month.
One quick search over at any online search engine, and you will instantly be led to numerous articles discussing this significant month in history. Still in its infancy compared to other known historical celebrations, marking October as the LGBT History Month is a huge step towards the goal of giving voice to those who have been historically silenced.
LGBT History Month, created by a high school history teacher, was first observed in October 1994 (APA). October was selected due to National Coming Out Day (October 11), commemorating the first March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979. The month also included (in 2010) Spirit Day, which was established to amplify the LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign. Echoing an excerpt from GLAAD on the LGBT History Month,
“[d]uring the early years, the celebration was largely marked by a call to action and commemoration. But since then, LGBT History Month has blossomed into a nationally coordinated effort to highlight exemplary role models from the LGBT community.”
These calls to action are visible and felt through the efforts of Equality Forum in identifying 31 icons in 31 days of LGBT History Month.
In remembering this significant month, it is best to look back into how it all started - how Rodney Wilson, a high school history teacher, created in 1994 what now is an important historical marker of progress and inclusivity. The LGBT History Month has indeed blossomed into what we know of it now and continues to be a reminder that no effort is too small in creating a space full of love and life, a space where everyone is not only heard but listened to - with every word taken to heart.
written by Allison Atis