Do you know your gay history? Why do we celebrate gay pride in June? Who or what is Stonewall? (A General who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War right?) Those are the easy questions most gays can answer, but since our collective history…
Do you know your gay history? Why do we celebrate gay pride in June? Who or what is Stonewall? (A General who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War right?) Those are the easy questions most gays can answer, but since our collective history (for the most part) isn’t taught at home or at school, for years, there was a lack of written documentation about who we are as LGBT Americans, or our collective accomplishments. In 1994 that all started to change. A high school teacher, Rodney Wilson, in the gay Mecca of Missouri, organized his colleagues and community leaders to begin teaching LGBT history during the month of October. Thanks to the hard work of gay icons who came before him like Harvey Milk, Frank Kameny, Mark Segal, Martina Navratilova, and many others, the time was ripe for the success of a whole month dedicated to teaching others about the history of gays and lesbians. Now, thanks to the help of national organizations like GLAAD, The National Education Association, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Equality Forum, we celebrate LGBT history month during the month of October in conjunction with National Coming Out day, October 11.
Since 2006 Equality Forum has taken the lead role, nationwide, of making LGBT History Month a success. Each year they highlight 31 gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender icons based on either their contributions to their field of work, or based on their work promoting the civil rights of our community. Equality forum solicits nominations from other national and international organizations, and then highlights one person per day throughout the month of October.
This year, the list includes: Roberta Achtenberg, Gloria Anzaldua, Ann Bannon, Katharine Lee Bates, Mary Bonauto, Glenn Burke, Paul Cadmus, Truman Capote, Chris Colfer, Kate Clinton, Ramon Cortines, Marlene Dietrich, Jodie Foster, Jean Paul Gaultier, Henry Gerber, Billy Haines, Mary Kay Henry, Chris Hughes, Christine Jorgensen, Arthur Laurents, Don Lemon, Federico Garcia Lorca, Irshad Manji, Katherine Miller, Holly Near, Rupaul, Pierre Seel, Billy Strayhorn, Jon Stryker, Tom Waddell, and Reverend Robert Wood.
This year, Hotspots will continue its annual tradition of highlighting members of the LGBT community, some who are also recognized by Equality Forum, but also some who are making their mark right here in Florida. Each week during the month of October, we will showcase 2 LGBT individuals. We’ve got artists, authors, entertainers, news anchors, actors, sports stars, and bloggers, so stay tuned as we gear it up next week with a who’s who in the LGBT community. For more information about Equality Forum’s list for 2012 LGBT History Month, or to watch videos and read the bios of the remarkable individuals who have worked to make the world a better place, visit http://www.lgbthistorymonth.com To learn more about Equality Forum you can visit them at www.equalityforum.com