LGBT History Month

LGBT History Month
Observed by United States
United Kingdom
Type National, civil rights, cultural, ethnic, sexual orientation, HRC, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender
Significance Celebration of LGBT history
Begins February (United Kingdom)
October (United States)
Date 1994
Frequency Annual

LGBT History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.[1] LGBT History Month provides role models, builds community, and makes the civil rights statement about our extraordinary national and international contributions.[2] Currently, LGBT History Month is a month-long celebration that is specific to the United States and the United Kingdom. In the United States, it is celebrated in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11.[3] In the United Kingdom, it is observed during February, to coincide with a major celebration of the 2003 abolition of Section 28.[4] In Berlin, It is known as Queer History Month. Other LGBT-progressive countries, however, celebrate LGBT History with much shorter events.

In the United States

Not to be confused with LGBT Pride Month celebrated in June.

LGBT History Month originated in the United States, and was first celebrated in 1994. It was founded by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson.[1] Wilson originated the idea, served as founder on the first coordinating committee, and chose October as the month of celebration. Among early supporters and members of the first coordinating committee were Kevin Jennings of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Kevin Boyer of Gerber/Hart Gay and Lesbian Library and Archives in Chicago; Paul Varnell, writer for the Windy City Times; Torey Wilson, Chicago area teacher; Johnda Boyce, women's studies major at Columbus State University and Jessea Greenman of UC-Berkeley. Many gay and lesbian organizations supported the concept early on as did Governors William Weld of Massachusetts and Lowell Weicker of Connecticut, Mayors such as Thomas Menino of Boston and Wellington Webb of Denver, who recognized the inaugural month with official proclamations. In 1995, the National Education Association indicated support of LGBT History Month as well as other history months by resolution at its General Assembly.

October was chosen by Wilson as the month for the celebration because National Coming Out Day already was established as a widely known event, on October 11, the date of the Second March of Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights., In 1987, October also commemorated the first March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation by LGBT people in 1979. LGBT History Month is intended to encourage honesty and openness about being LGBT.

While it was first known as Lesbian and Gay History Month, the coordinating committee soon added "bisexual" to the title. It has subsequently become known as LGBT History Month. The event has received criticism from conservative groups, such as the Concerned Women for America and others who believe it to be a form of "indoctrination."[2]

On June 2, 2000, President Bill Clinton declared June "Gay & Lesbian Pride Month".[5] President Barack Obama declared June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month on June 1, 2009.[6]

Equality Forum, a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus, undertook responsibility for LGBT Month in 2006. Each day in October, an Icon is featured with a video, biography, bibliography, downloadable images and other educational resources at

In 2011, Equality Forum introduced an internal search engine for all Icons from inception in 2006 to present. By clicking on “Icon Search” and choosing one of hundreds of categories such as African-American, athlete, California, Germany, HIV/AIDS, Military, Religion, Transgender, Youth; visitors to the site will be provided with links to all Icons in that category.

In 2012, for the first time, two American school districts celebrated LGBT History Month. The Broward County school district in Florida signed a resolution in September in support of LGBT Americans, and later that year the Los Angeles school district, America's second-largest, also signed on.[7]

In the United Kingdom

LGBT History Month was initiated in the UK by Sue Sanders, Elly Barnes[8] and Schools OUT UK, and first took place in February 2005. The event came in the wake of the abolition of Section 28 in 2003 and is intended to raise awareness of and combat prejudice against, an otherwise substantially invisible minority.[9]

The first celebration in 2005 saw the organization of over 150 events around the UK. The organization's website received over 50,000 hits in February 2005. The organization received a new logo designed by LGBT typographer Tony Malone in 2006, he has also 'modified' the logo for 2007. In 2007, Tony Malone's first concept became the corporate logo for the national committee and each year started to receive its own mark.[9]

In England

The initiative received government backing from the deputy DfES and Equalities Minister Jacqui Smith, although some sections of the press argued against its political correctness, and pointed out that the sexuality of some historical figures is more a matter of speculation than fact.[10] Supporters of the event countered that it is important to challenge heterosexist attitudes in society. LGBT History Month is intended to be an annual event in the United Kingdom taking place every February to coincide with a slower month in the schools calendar.

The DfES promised funding for LGBT History Month for the first two years to help get the event off the ground. It is now quite well established and has garnered support from other sources. Long standing sponsors include the Metropolitan Police Service, the Metropolitan Police Authority, Amnesty International and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The original patrons of the Month were Cyril Nri, Sarah Weir and Ian McKellen, to be replaced in 2009 by Cyril Nri, Angela Eagle, Labi Siffre and Ian McKellen.

In 2004, the first ever pre-launch event was sponsored by Southwark Council and took place at Tate Modern, the following year, the pre-launch was at the Metropolitan Police's Empress State Building. In 2006, the TUC offered Congress House and in 2007, the event took place in the hall at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand. Through the years many speakers have spoken at the events. These include Ian McKellen, Stella Duffy, Allan Horsfall, Linda Bellos, Baroness Scotland and Barbara Follett.

On March 5, 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown hosted a reception at Downing Street to mark the Month.[11]

From 2016, Schools OUT UK partnered with a contract publisher to produce Schools OUT UK's Official Guide to LGBT History Month, putting 35,000 copies of their publication into every secondary school in the UK, plus community spaces, charities and businesses. The magazine had introductions from the leaders of all the main political parties and the Mayor of London. The magazeine's Diversity Dashboard runs job adverts and events listings from LGBT-friendly employers and the community.

In Scotland

In 2005 and 2006, LGBT History Month was celebrated in Scotland as an LGBT community event, receiving support from LGBT community history projects such as Our Story Scotland and Remember When.[12]

For 2007 and 2008, the Scottish Government provided funding for a post at LGBT Youth Scotland to bring LGBT History Month into the wider community, including schools and youth groups.


In Berlin

In Berlin, it is known as Queer History Month instead of LGBT History Month. Every year it takes place in February. It is to educate and help people deal with sexual, sexual diversity, and anti- discrimination in small projects.[13]

During Queer History Month (QHM), people able to find detailed lessons on queer history suitable for both school and non-school education. Also educational institutions provide education to schools and youth institutions directly.[13] Also during this time, you ar able to conduct your own Queer History Month project on queer history.

In Greenland

In Greenland, LGBT history is celebrated with a Pride Parade instead of a month-long celebration. It started in 2010 when 19-year-old Nuka Bisgard and her friend Lu Berthelse, 24, another woman, teamed up with other Greenlanders to create a pride celebration.[14] This was made to help Greenland's visible and invisible gay community feel more inclusive and united. On May 15, 2010, their hard work paid off when Pride drew over a thousand participants. Gay Pride has successfully been repeated since 2010.

In Brazil

In Brazil, LGBT history is celebrated during the Sao Paulo Gay Pride. Its events have been organized by the APOGLBT – Associacao da Parada do Orgulho de Gays, Lesbicas, Bissexuais e Travestis e Transexuais (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transvestite Pride Parade Association) since its foundation in 1999.[15] Each year, the events are held in either May or June.

A non-profit organization, the APOGLBT’s mission is to fight for a more just and inclusive society, which recognizes equal rights for all. The association has served to promote citizenship and self-esteem of LGBT by conducting and encouraging activities of all kinds. The almost 22 years of success reflect the seriousness of the organization with its principles and goals.

In Australia

In Sydney, Australia,Sydney, in the middle of their summer, there’s a festival called Mardi Gras has grown into the most anticipated LGBT annual event in the world. It is called the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. There’s the parade in the Western World, the Bondi Beach Drag Races, a Harbour Party, a Film Festival, a Fair Day, and a series of academic and cultural discussions.[16]

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Flyers [17]

Mardi Gras was Sydney’s contribution to the international Gay Solidarity Celebrations, an event that had grown up as a result of the Stonewall riots in New York. Mardi Gras was one of a series of events by the Gay Solidarity Group to promote the forthcoming National Homosexual Conference, and offer support to San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day and it’s campaign against California State Senator John Brigg’s attempts to stop gay rights supporters teaching in schools. It was also intended to protest the Australian visit of homophobic Festival of Light campaigner Mary Whitehouse.[17]

Today, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of Australia’s most famous and well-loved events, bringing thousands of visitors to Sydney to join in the celebrations. It captures the imagination of Australia’s LGBTQI and mainstream communities, taking over the city for weeks on end, culminating in the world-famous Parade: a colorful and dazzling night of pride, celebration and self-expression.

See also


  1. 1 2 LGBT History Month Resources
  2. 1 2 K.L. Billingsley (July 21, 1996). "NEA drops plan for gay history month". The Washington Times.
  3. "Op-ed: The Story Behind the First LGBT History Month". 2015-09-02. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  4. "Home". Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans History Month. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  5. "Clinton Declares June 2000 Gay & Lesbian Pride Month",, June 2, 2000, retrieved 2008-06-17
  6. "President Hails Gay Pride Month", USA Today, June 2, 2009, retrieved 2009-06-02
  7. "Two school districts recognize LGBT Month". CNN. October 8, 2012.
  8. "LGBT Online Encyclopedia". LGBT History Project. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  9. 1 2 "LGBT HISTORY »". Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  10. "LGBT sub menu". Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  11. "Gordon Brown hosts first LGBT reception", PinkNews, March 6, 2009, retrieved 2009-07-16
  12. "Guide to LGBT research resources - National Library of Scotland". Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  13. 1 2 " | teaching queer history". Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  14. "Gay Greenland–Past and Present". GlobalGayz. 2015-05-06. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
  15. LLC, Bookers International. "Parade History | Sao Paulo Gay Pride 2013 | GayPrideBrazil.Org". Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  16. "Celebrate at the 13 Best LGBT Festivals Across the Globe". Fest300. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  17. 1 2 "History". Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Retrieved 2016-12-02.

External links

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