Every year, one month is set aside as a time to both celebrate LGBTQ+ icons and to educate students of all ages about the amazing accomplishments and stories within this community. When is LGBTQ+ history month and who is being celebrated this year? Get ready for 31 days of honoring some of the best advocates.
LGBTQ+ history month is recognized every year in the month of October, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) explained in a statement. While Equality Forum took over the organization of the month in 2006, it originally started back in 1994 thanks to a teacher in Missouri. Rodney Wilson picked October specifically because it was a time of year when school was in session, so students could spend time learning about the history, and it coincided with National Coming Out Day, which is Oct. 11.
"Each year, LGBT History Month provides an opportunity to lift up the historical experience and impact of LGBT people and communities, and ensure our visibility in the shared narratives of our past," GLSEN’s Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, said in the statement.
"GLSEN helped to create the event in 1994, and convened an inaugural conference on LGBT history that fall, determined to allow LGBT youth and their peers access to a rich legacy of historical understanding often erased or ignored."
In addition to its mission to educate people on the history of the LGBTQ+ community, the month is also about recognizing LGBTQ+ icons. Every day in the month of October focuses on one of the year's selected icons, celebrating their achievements and recognizing their part in making history. Some of the icons selected for 2020 include playwright Christopher Isherwood, actress Angelica Ross, and everyone's favorite country rapper, Lil Nas X.
The month of October brings 31 full days of opportunity to learn a little more about the history of the LGBTQ+ community, like how far it has come and what icons of the past overcame to earn that status. LGBTQ+ History Month is also a chance to start coming up with new was to drive change and further the mission of equality. It's the perfect time to start a diversity program or join in an existing one. Above all else, it's an entire month devoted to recognizing the wonderful contributions the LGBTQ+ community has brought to the world.