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October Is GAY – LGBT HISTORY MONTH! Now Learn A Little History Lesson About Why.

While everyday here at Back2Stonewall  is about gay history.  October is “officially” known in the United States as Gay History Month. (Later referred to as LGBT History Month, LGBTQ Hisrory Month, etc. as to give the focus of inclusion to all.)

The LGBT community’s history is the only community worldwide that is not taught in public schools (except California) or in religious institutions. So Gay History Month provides a venue for stories of events and role models which helps build the community and make a civil rights statement about our extraordinary national and international contributions.

So lets learn a little gay history about Gay/LGBT History Month and how and why it came to be in October and not June when we celebrate PRIDE and the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. 

In 1994 Rodney Wilson, a gay Missouri high school teacher, believed that a month should be set aside and dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history. 

Wilson chose the month of October for two reasons.

1.  National Coming Out Day already was established as a widely known event,

2.  October 11 also commemorated the march on Washington in 1979.

Wilson’s students at Mehlville High School in Missouri became real-life lesson participants in the civil rights fight when in 1994 during a showing of a film about Nazi Germany called The Holocaust, Wilson held up a poster showing emblems used to identify people in concentration camps.  Wilson said to them: “If I had been in Europe during World War II, they would have put this pink triangle on me and gassed me to death, because I am gay.”

And thus Gay History Month was born.

Among the early supporters and members of the first coordinating committee were Kevin Jennings, then of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Kevin Boyer of Gerber/Hart Gay and Lesbian Library and Archives in Chicago; Paul Varnell, writer for the Windy City Times; Torey Wilson, Chicago area teacher; Johnda Boyce, women’s studies major at Columbus State University and Jessea Greenman of UC-Berkeley.  Many gay and lesbian organizations supported the concept early on as did Governors William Weld of Massachusetts and Lowell Weicker of Connecticut and Mayors such as Thomas Menino of Boston and Wellington Webb of Denver, who recognized the inaugural month with official proclamations.

In 1995, the National Education Association indicated support of Gay/LGBT History Month as well as other history months by resolution at its General Assembly

Gay and LBT histories are fragile since many events were never officially documented by legitimate news sources and many stories are carried down through generations. Some truthfully and some embellished. But nevertheless our history is important. Because learning from our past is the only way to move forward in the future. 



Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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2 thoughts on “October Is GAY – LGBT HISTORY MONTH! Now Learn A Little History Lesson About Why.”

  1. I think it’s Flawless I appreciate you so much for letting us out the children needs to know about there history we have been John around a little too long we need to stand together I’m very humbled and grateful thank you

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