October is LGBTQ+ History Month. First celebrated in October 1994, the month originated as Lesbian and Gay History Month and was founded by Missouri high school history teacher Rodney Wilson. Wilson was the first openly gay public school teacher in Missouri.
The month of October was chosen to celebration LGBTQ+ history because the 1st and 2nd Marches on Washington, in 1979 and 1987, happened in October. Also, October was selected because public schools were in session and traditions such as October 11th’s Coming Out Day occur during the month.
According to the LGBT History Month site, the LGBTQ+ community is the only community worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools, or in religious institutions. To this, LGBTQ+ History Month serves to provide role models, build community, and make the civil rights statement about the LGBTQ+ community’s extraordinary national and international contributions.
In 2006, Equality Forum, a national and international LGBTQ+ civil rights organization with an educational focus, picked up the mission of coordinating LGBTQ+ History Month. The organization began selecting 31 LGBTQ+ icons from all over the world throughout history to highlight for every day of the month of October.
For the rest of this month, the SITREP will attempt to publish a biography a day commemorating the lives and contributions of LGBTQ+ people who have served in the military, either U.S. or internationally.
For more information on LGBTQ+ History Month, check out the following resources: