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LGBTQ+ History Month

LGBTQ+ History Month

October 03, 2022

Created by Rodney Wilson in 1994, LGBTQ+ History Month was designated to be commemorated during the month of October by the General Assembly of the National Education Association in 1995. Each October we celebrate and spread the love of LGBTQ+ History Month. Early on in its observation, LGBTQ+ History Month was a call to action and commemoration and has since grown to a national effort to highlight exemplary role models from the LGBTQ+ community.

LGBTQ+ History Month would not exist without Rodney Wilson, a 29-year-old Missouri history high school teacher who came out to his class in 1994. After teaching about the Holocaust, Wilson shared that he could have been killed for being gay had he lived during that time. Wilson’s vision for the informative and celebratory month was to dedicate time to the teaching of LGBTQ history. Rodney Wilson is quoted as saying “The greatest act of advocacy for civil rights for LGBTQ Americans is the act of coming out.”

The month of October also coincides with other notable LGBTQ+ events and commemorations including National Coming Out Day held annually on October 11, the anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder on October 12, Intersex Awareness Day on October 26 and Spirit Day held annually on the third Thursday in October. People are invited to wear purple on October 20 in support of LGBTQ+ youth on Spirit Day. October also celebrates the anniversary of the first march on Washington for gay and lesbian rights in 1979.

Under the direction and leadership of Stephen Loveless and the student staff, the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) has planned numerous events over the month including a Queer History Month Documentary, a co-sponsored screening of ‘Moonlight’, Spectrum’s 12th Annual Drag Show, and more. The GSRC has also selected four historical LGBTQ+ figures to highlight during this month including Lorraine Vivian Hansberry, Chavela Vargas, Amelio Robles Avila, and Willi Ninja.

Visit the GSRC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information on these and additional events planned. Additional resources provided by the GSRC include Affinity Groups which provides a space to meet others that share similar interests and identities, and to find community.

Take Action:

For additional education and personal development related to diversity, equity and inclusion, the following resources are available: DEI Education and Resources, DEI and Antiracism Resources from the UNC Libraries, the Education Equity Toolkit from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and the UNITE workshops for faculty, staff, and students.