Celebrating LGBTQ+ history this October | Editorial

This October is the 26th annual celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month in the United States.

While Pride Month happens in the U.S. every June, many people may not be aware that October is the official month for LGBTQ+ History Month.

Since its founding by Missouri high school history teacher Rodney Wilson in 1994, the month is dedicated to observing the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as recognizing the history of gay rights and related civil rights movements. Wilson was the first openly gay teacher in Missouri according to a 2015 article in the LGBT magazine Advocate.

“… Wilson suggested that LGBTQ+ history — like women’s history and African-American history — needed a month devoted to its study. But which month? Pride Month, June, would not work because school was out, and other months were spoken for by other groups. But October was free of conflicts, came during the academic year,” Original LGBTQ+ History Month Committee members wrote in the Advocate article.

In the United States, Canada, and Australia, LGBTQ+ History Month is celebrated in October in order to coincide with National Coming Out Day, which is Oct. 11. It also commemorates both the first and second marches on Washington for LGBTQ+ rights, which were held in 1979 and 1987. As of 2020, LGBTQ+ History Month is recognized in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Greenland, Hungary and the city of Berlin.

According to Broadwayworld.com, the first LGBTQ+ global streaming network, Revry, will honor National LGBT History Month in October by premiering the 5th annual QueerX festival brought to you by Lexus from Oct. 1-31. For more info about that, visit https://revry.tv/.

Since it is an election year, I thought it only fitting to point out that the U.S. may have already had its first LGBTQ+ leader with its 15th president — James Buchannan. Some scholars believe Buchannan and his vice president, William Rufus King, may have been romantically involved. Buchannan’s biographer Jean Baker stated in her book she believes the men’s nieces may have destroyed love letters between the two of them to avoid speculation.

You can learn more about LGBTQ+ history and icons by visiting https://lgbthistorymonth.com/.