By Kristen Donia —
Welcome to LGBTQ History Month, celebrated annually, every October. This year is extra special because it’s the 15th Anniversary!! How and when did it all begin? Let’s explore a brief history.
On October 14th, 1979, over 75,000 people participated in The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was the first of its kind. As there were no rights or protection for the LGBTQ community (something we continue to fight for today), this march was inspired by, and in response to, the demand for equal civil rights legislation.
The Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights took place eight years later on October 11th, 1987. It was named “The Great March” due to its historical significance. The march received national coverage with the presence of the international grassroots organization, ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, whose work has been instrumental in bringing awareness to the AIDS pandemic.
In 1994, Missouri high school teacher, Rodney Wilson, rallied fellow teachers and community members to celebrate the history of the lesbian, gay, and transgender communities. With students returning to school in the fall, significant marches taking place this month, and National Coming Out Day celebrated on October 11th, October became the month to hold this special month of celebration.
Here in 2020, https://lgbthistorymonth.com provides a searchable database of over 450 LGBT “luminaries,” individuals who have made significant contributions to and for the community. You can see a full list of such individuals, nominated from 2006 to present.
LGBTQ History Month provides community, celebration, and space for role models, activists, icons to come together, making us all feel like we can be exactly who we are and be loved and accepted for just that.
Additional Annual Celebrations:
March 1 – Zero Discriminations Day
March 31 – International Transgender Day of Visibility,
April 26 – Lesbia