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LGBT History Month

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LGBT History Month
Observed byUnited Kingdom
United States
TypeGay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender
SignificanceCelebration of LGBT history
BeginsFebruary (United Kingdom)
October (United States)
Date1994

LGBT History Month occurs during February in the United Kingdom, but during October in the United States.

In the United States Edit

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. 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. In 1995, the NEA (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, and October commemorated the first march on Washington by LGBT people in 1979. LGBT History Month is intended to encourage honesty and openness about being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

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, for example, the Concerned Women for America and others who believe it to be a form of indoctrination.[1]

On June 2, 2000, President Bill Clinton declared June 2000 "Gay & Lesbian Pride Month". [2]

In the United Kingdom Edit

LGBT History Month was instigated in the UK by Sue Sanders and Schools Out and first took place in February 2005. The event came in the wake of the abolition of Section 28 and is intended to raise awareness of, and combat prejudice against, an otherwise substantially invisible minority.

The first celebration of the month 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 leading 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.

In England Edit

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. 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 patrons of the Month are Cyril Nri, Sarah Weir 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, Alan Horsfall, Linda Bellos, Baroness Scotland and Barbara Follett.

In Scotland Edit

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.

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

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. K.L. Billingsley. "NEA drops plan for gay history month", The Washington Times, July 21, 1996. Retrieved on 2006-11-08. Template:Languageicon 
  2. Clinton Declares June 2000 Gay & Lesbian Pride Month”, About.com, 02 June 2000, <http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/blgaylesproc.htm>. Retrieved on 2008-06-17 

External links Edit

Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at LGBT History Month. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

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