LGBTQ+ History Month

LGBTQ+ History Month

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LGBTQ+ History Month is celebrated during the month of October. This month is used to celebrate some of the greatest achievements from 31 different gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender icons. Each year these icons change to recognize different idols that have done so much throughout history for the LGBTQ+ community. This day is used to celebrate the progress that we have made throughout the years by showing the history and consider ways we can continue to advocate for change. The LGBTQ+ community is the only community that is not required to be talked about in public schools. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to have a whole month of education and resources available. This month is a great opportunity for those who are unaware of this the history of the LGBTQ+ community to become aware and educated.

LGBTQ+ History Month has been celebrated since the year 1994 when Rodney Wilson declared that there should be a whole month set aside to acknowledge the progress that had made for LGBTQ+ individuals. Rodney Wilson was the first openly gay public-school teacher in Missouri. The month of October was chosen as the celebratory month primarily because National Coming Out Day is also celebrated in the month of October.

In 2006, the Equality Forum took responsibility for providing education and resources for LGBTQ+ History Month. The Equality Forum is an international LGBTQ+ civil rights organization with an emphasis on education.  It wasn’t until 2006 when they decided to talk about the memorable idols on each day during the month of October. Prior to 2006, there was a bigger focus on history rather than acknowledging the important figures throughout history. 

A list of the 2020 idols that will be celebrated are listed here at this link: https://lgbthistorymonth.com/sites/default/files/LGBT2020IconSheet-Final.pdf

EVOLVE cultivates the ability of our staff and our systems of care to respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, races, ethnic backgrounds, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, and faiths in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the work of the individuals, families, tribes and communities that protects the dignity of each.

Ways to Celebrate

Education.
Some good ways to celebrate include educating yourself on LGBTQ+ history. There is a lot of good information out there about the history of the LGBTQ+ community, all you need to do is look for it and educate yourself. If you are someone who has a lot of knowledge on the LGBTQ+ community and the history behind it, be someone who educates others. You can also promote LGBTQ+ History Month on any social media platform. It is important to educate others so they can start to celebrate and educate themselves as well.

Show your Support.
You could display posters, signs, or flags to show your support and appreciation for the LGBTQ+ community.

Donate.
You could also donate to an LGBTQ+ organization of your choice.

LGBTQ+ History Month is a great time to educate yourself and show your appreciation to the LGBTQ+ community. There are many ways that you can celebrate during the month of October. There is no wrong way to celebrate and not everyone celebrates in the same way.

There has been a lot of progress throughout the years for the LGBTQ+ community. There have been many important idols that have taken the lead to further this progress. Although we have come a long way to support the LGBTQ+ community, there is still much progress that needs to be made still today. Education not only helps share history, but it also helps promote continued change and advocacy. Take some time during the month of October to learn the history and the important idols that have made such an impact on the LGBTQ+ community. It will also be beneficial to find out where we still need to see changes to better support LGBTQ+ families and individuals.

Author: Samantha Potocnik
Samantha is an intern at EVOLVE and a student at the University of Wisconsin River Falls.

Resources:
LGBT History Month.com

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