October is LGBT History Month and a time to celebrate the achievements of 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender icons. Included in the 2018 list of icons are two notable Virginians – Gavin Grimm (Oct. 14) and Danica Roem (Oct. 26).
Everyday in October, the Equality Forum features an LGBT icon is featured with an accompanying video, bio, bibliography, downloadable images and other resources. Each year 31 LGBT icons, living or dead, are selected for achievements in their field of endeavor; for their status as a national hero; or for their significant contribution to LGBT civil rights. Equality Forum solicits nominations from regional, state, national and international organizations. Click HERE for a full list of this year’s icons.
“LGBT History Month sends an important message to our nation’s teachers, school boards, community leaders, and youth about the vital importance of recognizing and exploring the role of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in American history,” said Samuel Knight Professor of American History and Chair of the History Department, Yale University.
The idea to celebrate LGBT history began in 1994, when Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history. The month of October was selected October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), occur that month.
Since then, Gay and Lesbian History Month has been endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association and other national organizations. The LGBT community is the only community worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools or in religious institutions. LGBT History Month provides role models, builds community and makes the civil rights statement about our extraordinary national and international contributions.
Equality Forum is a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates LGBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high-impact initiatives and presents the largest annual national and international LGBT civil rights summit.