Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Monday, October 1, 2012

October is LGBT History Month

Today October 1 marks the beginning of LGBT history month.  This is the month the gay and lesbian community uses to celebrate those individuals and events that contributed to shaping our rich, diverse history.  During the month of October many organizations will honor individuals like Harvey Milk, Frida Kahlo, Bayard Rustin and Andy Warhol.  We will also see contemporary heroes like Barney Frank, Elton John and Wanda Sykes recognized for using their influence to continue to make the world a better place for same-gender loving people.

As we move forward through this month please remember that Halloween isn't the only thing you have to look forward to.  Take as many opportunities as you can to develop new role models.  Learn about those people that have paved (or are paving) the way for you and your friends.
Not that long ago it was illegal for two men to dance together in public; it was a crime for bars whose constituency was gays and lesbians to serve alcohol, and a person could be arrested for wearing clothing that was designed for the opposite gender.  Not that long ago being attracted to a person of the same sex meant that you were labeled with a psychological disorder.  Being gay or lesbian meant you were confined to a life filled with secrets and lies.

Lets look at how far we've come.  Sodomy laws have been deemed unconstitutional.  We can now serve openly in the military.  We now have several states that recognize same sex marriages.  It is not as easy to fire an individual now for choosing to love someone of the same sex.  And now many companies have gone beyond just employment protection and have extended domestic partner benefits for their gay and lesbian workers.  We have pride parades and celebrations in almost every major city.  And media repesentation has transitioned the LGBT community from deranged, isolated sociopaths (as we were often historically represented in film) to characters with depth , personality and substance. 
As a community we have come a mighty long way and it is all thanks to those individulals that have been on the front line in our stuggles.  So take a moment this month to learn about a leader from the past, thank one of our contemporary heroes, or step up yourself and become  a catalyst for change.  Do something this month to celebrate LGBT history month.        

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