LGBT 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 the teaching of LGBT history. His efforts garnered support from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association and other groups. October was chosen because it already coincided with other notable LGBT events such as National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11) and the 1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
- First observed in 1994 in the United States
- LGBTQ+ History Month was founded by Missouri high school history teacher Rodney Wilson.
- LGBTQ+ History Month now also includes Spirit Day on October 20th (wear purple in support of the LGBT youth)
- Another notable event for our community is the anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder on the 12th in 1998.
- LGBTQ History Month is also celebrated in the UK, Hungary, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Greenland, and the city of Berlin (the UK and Hungary celebrate in Feb, Berlin in June; not all are in October).
For additional resources, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion site has readings, podcast, and other information that may be helpful to you. Additionally, the following digital resources that highlight current and historical LGBTQ Icons and LGBTQ Activism are noted below:
Under the direction and leadership of Stephen Loveless, the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) has planned numerous events over the month including:
- All Month: Rainbow Flag Campaign
- October 11: National Coming Out Day
- October 12-16: Coming Out Week - Pride Social Media Campaign
(Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram)
- October 12: 1-4pm: Safe Zone 101
- October 13: 5-7pm: Straight Facts About Queer Life
- October 15: 5-7pm: César Chávez Cultural Center & GSRC- Keynote Speaker River Mason
- October 16: Safe Zone 201
- October 22: Movie Screening: Brother Outsider – Cosponsors: The Gender & Sexuality Resource Center, Marcus Garvey Cultural Center & International Film Series
We hope to see you there….feel free to forward to others in your UNC network!
Dr. Tobias J. Guzmán