A Moment in Time
She was an advocate for women and children … She challenged military discrimination. He was a Presidential Inaugural poet … She is a writer and performer . He is a pro basketball player ... She is a transgender actress … He is a music producer … He is an award winning author … She wasn't a claimed decorator … He is an independent filmmaker … They were Youth Empowerment activists. He is a legendary rock star. She is an actress and humanitarian … He was a US vice president. She was a legendary comedian …
October, October, October, October is here! October is officially the LGBTQ history month. It is important for me in particular, because as a member of the community, I think the big thing is there's no shared history, you have to learn it from someone else. I think it is important because it's an opportunity to reflect on some of the community's challenges.
It's a chance to ponder on the issues they are dealing with. It is also an occasion to commemorate those who fought for us and created an atmosphere where people feel safe to educate and learn. Safe enough to ask questions and be curious.
Growing up in a fairly conservative town where I didn't have a lot of visible role models and were also very limited to what kind of representations we had in popular culture on television. It's important to me that people can see that LGBTQ people are diverse; they come from lots of different backgrounds; they have lots of other interests. As an LGBTQ person, you need that foundation to understand how recent progress has actually been. In many areas of the world, it's still backward, both people in the LGBTQ community and people outside of history are really important. I think we can take a lot for granted these days with how inclusive and accepting people can be but I think people need to sort of go back a little bit further to realize just how difficult it has been, what struggle was parallel to today. I think history is a really, really important part of that.
I think this is an important month to start a conversation about LGBTQ history because very few people know how it was like in the past. Many people know about Stonewall, but that's about it. Like Stonewall was the beginning.
Imagine, for just being true to yourself about your identity could land you in jail or even get killed. This was the harsh reality for many LGBTQ peopel who lived in hiding and for many it is the present in many places all around the world.
Walt Whitman was one of the brave souls who served the LGBTQ community by writing poetry. It helped many gay people to form communties where they could be safe and happy. However, many lived in fear and isolation.
The term “homosexual” was first given by Carl Maria which was an extermely powerful tool to identify.
Writers like Alice Dunbar, who was a biracial, bisexual woman, allowed more stories of LGBTQ people. However, when people found out her true identity she was scandalized and ridiculed.