A Look Back on National LGBQT+ History Month

With October being National LGBTQ+ history month, it’s important to recognize what LGBTQ+ people have gone through throughout history as well as their impact on the United States.

A Look Back on National LGBQT+ History Month

By: Sarah Kebei

October is National LGBTQ+ history month. We celebrate all the people and achievements that have been made this month and throughout the year in the LGBTQ+ community. National LGBTQ+ History Month is a 31-day celebration to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer achievement and influence on the world. This is also a time to learn more about the history of LGBTQ+ rights. October 11th being the National Coming Out day which is what initially set the tone for the creations and celebration of National LGBTQ+ history month to be celebrated.

This annual monthly celebration came about when a high school teacher in Missouri,  named Rodney Wilson spoke out and decided that there should be a month dedicated to learning about LGBTQ+ history. He was able to gather teachers and leaders in the community and they selected the month of October to accompany the academic year as well as Coming Out Day. Soon word caught on and the  celebration was endorsed by  GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association and other national organizations, so that by 2006 , there were multiple sources of promotions and resources for the LGBTQ+ History month.

It is important to celebrate National LGBTQ+ history month because the LGBTQ+ community is one of the only communities worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools or in religious institutions. George Chauncy even states that “LGBTQ+ History Month sends an important message to our nation’s teachers, school boards, community leaders, and youth about the vital importance of recognizing and exploring the role of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in American history.” LGBTQ+ identities have existed as long as humans have, but history books tend to either barely mention, completely ignore or deliberately erase LGBTQ+ people’s existence and contributions.

For children, coming of age and trying to find themselves and accept themselves, LGBQT+ National History Month serves as a way for LGBTQ+ children to see themselves reflected  back in their history and also represented. Seeing people you identify with not just exist in history, but achieve and conquer huge feats impacts what a person feels they can achieve themselves. Therefore when a child is able to see themselves represented in anything, it makes them feel a sense of belonging and allows them to feel as though they can achieve anything regardless of who they are and what they identify as.

LGBQT+ National history month is crucial in the making of young and afraid LGBTQ+ people who are afraid to come out as it allows them to step into their true identity and allows for them to be able to find support in others just like them.