In the USA, October is celebrated as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (GLBTQ) History Month. This observance is a time when many educators use the opportunity to share highlights with their students of personalities and events throughout history, both contemporary and from the past, that involved or were affected by members of our community. In some instances, the lives of some of the persons featured are historic simply because of their accomplishments and achievements. This observance helps to eradicate the myth that our community is simply a modern phenomenon.
Most of us don’t need to be instructed as to why GLBTQ History is necessary. Until recent times, little, if any, of it was known except for what was the current gossip about who might be gay, lesbian or bisexual. A scarce few even gave a fleeting thought as to what should or should not be preserved for future generations.
Thankfully, all of that is now in the past and there now exists growing documentation of our vibrant and extraordinary story. Not only from antiquity but also including the present. GLBTQ History Month, no matter where we live or when it is observed, is an important opportunity for us to familiarize ourselves with our heritage, our legacy and to make others aware that we were there, along with everyone else, through each of humanity’s stage of development and progress.
GLBTQ History Month In The USA:
In 1994, Rodney Wilson, a secondary school history teacher from the state of Missouri, believed a month should be dedicated to the celebrating and educating of others about GLBTQ history. He gathered together other teachers and community leaders and they selected October because public schools were in session and National Coming Out Day (October 11) was already observed during this month.
The first gay and lesbian history month was held during October, 1994, and was endorsed by The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the National Education Association (NEA), and other national organizations. In 2006, Equality Forum assumed responsibility for providing content, promotion and resources for GLBTQ History Month.
The GLBTQ community is the only community worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools or in religious institutions. GLBTQ History Month provides role models, builds community and makes the civil rights statement about our extraordinary national and international historic presence.
GLBTQ History Month In The UK:
A nationwide GBBTQ History Month first occurred in the United Kingdom in February, 2005. It was initiated by Sue Sanders, Elly Barnes and sponsored by Schools OUT UK. February was selected as the month of celebration as that was the month that Section 28 of the penal code was abolished in 2003. Another factor is that traditionally February is one of the least eventful months in British education.
This South American country celebrates its GLBTQ History Month during the Sao Paulo Gay Pride Parade. Since 1999, the events have been organized by APOGLBT – Associacao da Parada do Orgulho de Gays, Lesbicas, Bissexuais e Travestis e Transexuais. This event id observed during the months of either May or June, annually.
In October, 2016, Minus 18 organized the first Australian GLBTQ History Month celebration in partnership with the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria.
Author’s Note: The background on the above national GLBTQ History Month programs accessed through Wikipedia.com. I regret the limited availability of additional information.
2018 GLBTQ History Month Honorees:
Each year, 31 honorees are selected by the Equality Forum to be featured that year during GLBTQ History month. This process permits each honoree to have their own special day of focus. Below are listed the 2018 honorees and their date of honor. Please note that the honorees are listed in alphabetical order by their surname. The number before each name is their date featured.
- Gilbert Baker, Rainbow flag designer
- Lance Bass, Pop singer
- James Beard, Internationally renown chef
- Elizabeth Birch, Human Rights Campaign Executive Director
- Melvin Boozer, Gay pioneer
- Sandro Botticelli, Renaissance painter
- Richard Burns, Movement leader
- Jonathan Capehart, Pulitzer Award jounalist
- Francesco Cartagena, Puerto Rican activist
- Debra Chasnoff, Documentary filmmaker
- Chi Chai-Wei, Taiwanese gay pioneer
- Meg Christian, Feminist singer-songwriter
- Ani DeFranco, Grammy Award singer
- Gavin Grimm, Teen transgender activist
- Sean Hayes, Actor
- Joyce Hunter, Gay pioneer
- Tab Hunter, Actor & singer
- Dale Jennings, Gay pioneer
- Roberta Kaplan, Marriage Equality attorney
- Steve Letsike, South African activist
- Saul Levin, CEO of APO
- Rachel Levine, Transgender Secretary of Health
- Tarell Alvin McCraney, Oscar Award screenwriter
- Ann Northrop, AIDS activist & journalist
- Adam Rippon, Olympic figure skater
- Danica Roem, Transgender State legislator (Virginia)
- Michelangelo Signorile, Journalist/radio host
- Ethel Smyth, Composer & suffragette
- Leo Varadkar, Prime Minister of Ireland
- Perry Watkins, Pioneering military activist
- Chely Wright, Country music singer
Congratulations to all the above honorees and a posthumous salute and gratitude to those who have died. On behalf of everyone reading and/or visiting ReNude Pride, I sincerely appreciate all of your efforts on behalf of our GLBTQ global community.
ReNude Pride Celebrates Bare GLBTQ History Month:
In keeping with my custom from last year, every Friday during the month of October, 2018, I will post a feature of images depicting bare men from “back-in-the-day” (vintage pictures). There aren’t volumes of bare history documented aside from a few questionable legends such as Lady Godiva. Someone has got to initiate this trend somewhere, so it might as well be yours truly.
The first of this year’s Bare GLBTQ History Month series posts here on ReNude Pride publishes this upcoming Friday, October 5.
For additional information on GLBTQ History Month in the USA, and for daily features on each of the above named honorees, visit the Equality Forum maintained website by clicking on the link below:
Their website also contains listings of previous years honorees and downloadable information sheets on all of the current honorees including biographical data and an image of each. The website also explains the vetting process for selecting a new set of honorees for next year.
Happy GLBTQ History Month!