Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Saturday, October 4, 2008

LGBT History Month

For those that don't know - October is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History Month. This is the month where we have the opportunity to spotlight and hi-lite events that are significant in the history of our community and individuals that went (and are going) above in beyong in helping us achieve our equality. Being an African-American gay man, it's important to me that we recognize those LGBT people of color that contributed to the betterment of our community and the world at large.

The individuals in this slide show are just some of the invisible heroes I hold up as role models. All of them were accomplished in their fields. All were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Not all were open (but you must ask the question - would they have been successful if they were open). If the slide show has ended, just click on the X in the top right corner to replay.

Individuals like Bayard Rustin, Audre Lorde, Langston Hughes and Octavia Butler should have a special place in the hearts of all LGBT people of color. Their successes were exceptional and we should hold them up as role models. Unfortunately their names are not commonplace and their stories continue to be told in part (if at all). The fact that one of the greatest organizers in the African-American Civil Rights Movement was a same-gender loving man is a story we should celebrate. The fact that the first science fiction writer to win the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant was a African-American lesbian is profound. These stories enrich our community.

I have a challenge for everyone this month. Find someone that you can hold up as a role model and learn their story. With the help of the Internet this homework assignment should very easy to do. Find an individual, learn his/ her story, and if you would - share that story with someone. You'd be surprised how little we know about our historical figures. You'd be surprised how often I hear, "What - you mean James Baldwin was gay?

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