GLBT History Month was started back in the 1990s by teachers and community organizations. They chose October as the month because public school is in session and National Coming Out Day occurs that month.
Endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association and other associations, GLBT History Month became Equality Forum’s responsibility in 2006.
The GLBT community is the only community worldwide that does not learn its history at home, in public schools or in religious institutions. GLBT History Month teaches our heritage, provides role models, builds community and makes the civil rights statement of our extraordinary national and international contributions.
Modeled after Black and Women’s History months, GLBT History Month highlights annually the achievements of 31 gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender icons. Each year, the icons, living or dead, are selected for their achievements in their field that significantly contribute to GLBT civil rights. Equality Forum solicits nominations from state, national and international organizations and activists.
This year’s list of icons includes: Eric Alva, George Washington Carver, George Eastman, Sharon Farmer, Leslie Feinberg, Tom Ford, E. Lynn Harris, David Huebner, Kevin Jennings, Mara Keisling, Kiyoshi Kuromiya, Sharon J. Lubinski, Jane Lynch, Patsy Lynch, Matthew Mitcham, Jamie Nabozny, Cynthia Nixon, Catherine Opie, Sunil Babu Pant, Annise Parker, John A. Perez, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jamal Al-Din Rumi, David Sedaris, Maurice Sendak, Matthew Shepard, Johanna Sigurdardottir, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Rufus Wainwright, Mel White and Emmanuel Xavier.
Equality Forum is a national and international GLBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates GLBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high-impact initiatives and presents the largest annual international GLBT civil rights forum. For more information, visit EqualityForum.com
Known by Gleeks as the evil Sue Sylvester, Jane Lynch has been in more than 50 films, numerous television shows and many commercials. She is an award-winning theater, film and television actress who has never hidden her sexuality.
“As for being out in Hollywood—I never thought about it. I never hid who I was,” she has said.
Recently Lynch married her long-term partner, Dr. Lara Embry, in a Massachusetts ceremony.
The actress/comedienne grew up in Dolton, Illinois, outside Chicago. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Illinois State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Theater from Cornell.
She began her career on stage with the Second City comedy troupe, followed by a stint playing Carol Brady in the touring company of “The Real Live Brady Bunch.” In 1998, Lynch wrote and starred in “Oh Sister, My Sister.” Six years later, Lynch’s play helped launch the Lesbians in Theater program at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
After playing bit parts and acting in commercials, Lynch caught the attention of film director Christopher Guest, who spotted her in a Frosted Flakes commercial and cast her in “Best in Show.” Lynch’s role as a lesbian dog handler in the film was her breakout role.
She has appeared in more than 50 films, including “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Julie and Julia,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Talladega Nights” and “The Fugitive.”
On television, Lynch guest starred on dozens of series, including “Judging Amy,” “The West Wing,” “Arrested Development” and “Boston Legal.” She played recurring characters on “The L Word,” “Party Down,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Criminal Minds.”
As Sue Sylvester, the “Glee” cheerleading coach, Lynch is receiving rave reviews and has a huge fan following, including a Facebook page of her character’s best one-liners. Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Lynch alone makes ‘Glee’ worth watching.”
In 2005, Jane Lynch was named one of the “10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz” by the Professional Organization of Women in Entertainment Reaching Up (POWER UP).
This year, the Los Angeles gay and lesbian film festival called Outfest honored Lynch with the 14th annual Achievement Award for her contributions to LGBT film and media.
Also this year, she shared a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Comedy Ensemble for “Glee.” She also received a Golden Globe nomination and won an Emmy for her role on the show.