This article was published on October 3rd, 2022
Each October, LGBT (alternately referred to as LGBTQ+) History Month recognizes the achievements of those living within the LGBTQ+ umbrella. Known as LGBTQ+ History Month, it encourages informed discussions to educate about the leaders in the movement who have powered the movement. HomoCulture dissects the month and how we all can participate.
What Is LGBTQ+ History Month?
October represents a 31-day celebration to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people around the world – a time to learn more about the history of LGBTQ+ rights. The month coincides with National Coming Out Day that occurs in October. Throughout the month, events in communities profile the civil rights history and those that shaped the future of the LGBTQ+ landscape. There are a plethora of initiatives which have impacted social, legal and political change.
How LGBT History Month Began
It began in 1994, when Rodney Wilson, a high school teacher in Missouri, proposed a month dedicated to the celebration and education o LGBTQ+ history. His efforts included gathering other teachers and community leaders in the area. Once assembled, they chose October since schools are in session Coming Out Day (October 11), occur during that month.
The proposal was soon endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association, and other national organizations. By 2006, Equality Forum created content and resources for LGBT History Month.
The Difference Between Pride Month and LGBT History Month
October’s celebration differs from Pride Month as that month is focused on honoring LGBTQ+ visibility and the movement toward equality. Pride Month celebrates the historic 1969 Stonewall Riots. LGBTQ+ History Month, however, educates and informs about the historic figures and contributions of queer people to the world.
LGBTQ+ History Month also includes Ally Week, and students are encouraged to stand up against bullying. For Spirit Day, on October 20, the color purple is worn in solidarity with LGBTQ youth, and to commemorate the death of Matthew Shepard — a 21-year-old who was murdered in a hate crime in October 1998.
LGBTQ+ History Month allows everyone the opportunity to learn about the history of the LGBTQ+ movement, providing role models who represent and address the issues affecting those living under the umbrella.
Where Is LGBTQ+ History Month Celebrated?
The month is most prominently celebrated in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Hungary, Brazil, and Berlin. The particular month varies across different countries — in the United States, Canada, and Australia, LGBTQ+ History Month is celebrated in October, in the U.K. and Hungary, in February. In Berlin, the holiday is celebrated in June and is known as Queer History Month.
How To Celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month
The Color Guard
The rainbow flag is now synonymous with the LGBTQ+ community and each color has a different meaning. Red is for life, orange for healing, yellow represents the sun, green symbolizes nature, blue signifies peace, and purple is the spirit. Wear your colors to express your support.
Events In Your Community
While most of the parades occur during Pride Month, there are more events and celebrations during LGBTQ+ History Month. Check your local events and participate!