October is LGBTQ History Month


Photo by Creative Commons

October is LGBTQ History Month

In 1994, a Missouri school teacher named Rodney Wilson came out to his history class as a gay man, explaining to his students that because of this, he would’ve been targeted and killed during the holocaust. In doing this, he became the first ‘out’ teacher in his state, ever. Seeing how little his students knew about gay history, Wilson was inspired to dedicate his life to teaching young people about gay history. Seeing as Women’s History Month and Black History Month were both celebrated, he decided a good starting point would be to lobby for an LGBT History Month as well.

He worked tirelessly, writing articles and letters about the proposed month, holding events on college campuses, hosting film festivals to celebrate gay history, and encouraging fellow teachers to incorporate his LGBT curriculum into their classes.

Despite all his hard work, Wilson faced massive backlash from conservative parties who feared that his curriculum would embolden children to come out as gay. Eventually, his campaign died out without any funding. It wasn’t until 2006 that the month was recognized officially by the US government and has been celebrated nationally ever since!

Several LGBT days of significance fall within the month of October, including National Coming Out Day, on October eleventh; the eleventh is a day of significance within the community because it marks the anniversary of the first march on Washington for gay and lesbian rights, which was held in 1979.

On October twelfth, the anniversary of the hate-crime murder of Matthew Shepard is commemorated, as well as the passing of the ‘Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009.’

On October twentieth, ‘LGBT+ Ally Spirit Day’ or ‘Day of Support’ is celebrated by people around the country who wear the color purple in support of the LGBT youth who are facing bullying and discrimination.

‘The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s’ spokesperson said of the celebratory month, “During the early years, the celebration was largely marked by a call to action and commemoration. But since then, LGBT History Month has blossomed into a nationally coordinated effort to highlight exemplary role models from the LGBT community. Since 2006, this push has so far been led by LGBT rights and education organization Equality Forum.”


Crisis Intervention/Suicide Prevention

The Trevor Project: (866) 488-7386

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255 (online chat available)

Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline: (888) 843-4564

Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860


HIV/AIDS Information

National AIDS Hotline (800) 342-AIDS / (800) 344-7432 (Spanish) / (800) 243-7889 (TDD)


Help For Abused Youth

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233 (English and Spanish) (800) 787-3224 (TTY)

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)