This year, ReNude Pride is taking a different approach to this annual occasion. In years past, I’ve featured either bare or nude as part of the assigned title. For this 2021 observance, today will focus on the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) historical topic initially (today) and the next two Friday post entries will shift to the bare practitioner theme along with the historical aspect. Please don’t be alarmed, I’m not abandoning my nudity preference nor my bare practitioner lifestyle! There’s no need to panic!
In the USA, GLBTQ+ History Month was first observed in October, 1994. It was initiated by a Missouri secondary school teacher, Rodney Wilson. He conceived of the idea, served on the first coordinating committee and decided that October was the best month as it already contained National Coming Out Day on October 11.
Along with Rodney Wilson, the first coordinating committee also consisted of Kevin Jennings of the Gal, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Kevin Boyer of the Gerber/Hart Gay and Lesbian Archives in Chicago, Illinois; Paul Varnell, a journalist with the Windy Times also in Chicago; Torey Wilson, a Chicago area teacher; Johnda Boyer, a womens studies major at Columbus University in Ohio; and Jessea Greenman of the University of California – Berkeley.
Many gay and lesbian organizations openly supported the observance of GLBTQ+ History Month. Two state governors, William Weld of Massachusetts and Lowell Weicker of Connecticutt signed endorsements of the event. The mayors of Boston Massachusetts (Thomas Menino) and Denver, Colorado (Wellington Webb) both issued official mayoral proclamations recognizing October as GLBTQ+ History Month within their jurisdictions.
When first celebrated the event was certified Gay and Lesbian History Month. After several years, “bisexual” was added to the designation. As our community broadens, so does the event title.
The following year, the National Education Association (NEA) supported GLBTQ+ History Month by resolution at its General Assembly. The recognition and support of this event continues to grow and receive acclaim.
Christian extremists and fundamentalists wasted no time in condemning and denigrating the engagement of the first and successive GLBTQ+ History Months. The GLBTQ+ community, accustomed to being ignored and vilified for centuries was once again finding itself the target of criticism, negativity and ridicule. In the minds of many, homophobia rose again with a renewed purpose.
The national right-wing group, the Concerned Women of America, went so far as to accuse the observance as being a conspiracy of “sexual indoctrination.”
The opposition to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer history month commemoration wasn’t unexpected nor a shock to any of our community and culture. Their reaction was typical and usual. What was most concerning and disturbing were the cases and incidents of death, physical assault and violence perpetrated on their behalf. Evidently, tolerance and understanding were alien to their belief tenets.
GLBTQ+ History Month is intended to encourage honesty, openness and pride about one’s sexuality. It also empowers educators to examine and explore the numerous achievements and contributions this long ignored and often overlooked community has made in all of our lives. It seeks to combat hatred and homophobia with respect and understanding.
Please note that the number beside the name of each honoree indicates the date of the month the individual is featured.
- Susan B. Anthony suffragist
- W. H. Auden poet
- Frank Bruni newspaper columnist
- Frederic Chopin composer
- David Cicilline congressman
- Mart Crowley playwright
- Ashley Diamond transgender prison activist
- Alice Dunbar-Nelson author
- Carlos Elizondo presidential social secretary
- Althea Garrison transgender state legislator
- R. C. Gorman Native American artist
- LZ Granderson journalist and commentator
- Bob Hattoy gay rights pioneer
- Jerry Herman composer
- Janis Ian singer-songwriter
- Karlene Jean-Pierre deputy presidential secretary
- Janis Joplin singer
- Liberace pianist
- Claude McKay author/poet
- Stacy Milburn differing ability rights advocate
- Shannon Minter transgender attorney
- Janelle Monae singer/songwriter
- Javier Morgado broadcast executive producer
- Henry Munoz III designer
- Johnnie Phelps decorated World War II veteran
- Little Richard pop culture entertainer
- Swe Zin Htet beauty pageant contestant
- Mark Takano congressman
- Ritchie Torres congressman
- Mary Trump author
- Darren Walker corporation president
For additional information, downloads and nominations, click the name below for the direct link:
A happy, pleasurable and safe GLBTQ+ History Month wish to you all! As of now, the focus of post entries for the first two Fridays following today will be commemorating GLBTQ+ Bare History Month! “Breaking Bare-iers, Part 1” is planned for publication on Friday, October 8. “Breaking Bare-iers, Part 2” is scheduled on Friday, October 15.
Take care and stay bare!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, October 4, 2021, and the proposed topic is: “Take A Hike!”