LGBTQIA History 101

When do we celebrate LGBTQIA History?

We celebrate LGBTQIA history each and every day in this community, but October the official month is designated for planned celebrations and events to celebrate LGBTQIA History Month.

The History of LGBTQIA History Month

LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and other identities. The acronym seeks to include those who do not identify as heterosexual and who have been marginalized by society and the law.
The focus of LGBTQIA History Month was started by a history teacher named Rodney Wilson with the intention to celebrate and teach others the LGBTQIA+ history of oppression and rights. So consider this school in session; it’s time for LGBTQIA history!
Pride Month, which is in June, was started to commemorate one of the galvanizing events in LGBQTIA history; a gay rights movement called the Stonewall Riots or the Stonewall Uprising.
This event occurred on June 28th, 1969, and lasted 6 days. The uprising was named for the location where it all started, The Stonewall Inn in New York City. In 1969 it was illegal to have same-sex relations, and those who were suspected of being gay could be harassed or jailed by law enforcement. Additionally, law enforcement would shut down establishments that served suspected or known LGBTQIA+ folks, stating that even the gathering of these individuals was “disorderly.”

Though the riots ended, the desire for change was ignited and multiple organizations were created as a result of this horrific event, including the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the Human Rights Campaign, and many more. The following year, a march occurred to commemorate the Stonewall riots, marking the first gay pride parade with the official chant being “Say it loud, Gay is proud.” This improvement was an incredibly important step for LGBTQIA+ history.

Why should you know about LGBTQIA History?

Why do I share this? Because LGBTQIA history is our history! Members of the LGBTQIA community include our friends, family, children, coworkers, and the people you see in your daily lives. It is my personal belief that we are all part of this large beautiful global community, and through awareness and respect, we can create change— because EVERYONE deserves wellness and happiness.

While as a society we have made some big strides in recognizing, respecting, and protecting the LGBTQIA+ community at large, there are still some major disparities between the LGBTQIA+ community members and their heterosexual counterparts, especially within the healthcare industry.

  • Only 57%-77% of LGBTQI+ people have health insurance.
  • Only 57% of lesbian and bisexual women receive needed mammograms.
  • 19% of LGBTQIA+ youth have been threatened or injured with a weapon at school.

Understanding these struggles, and the inherent LGBTQIA history that plays in these harsh realities can help us all to be a little more kind and thoughtful about how we interact with others. Many people who are part of marginalized groups have trouble reaching out for help. We are all humans, and we all deserve respect, kindness, health, and help to get through tough times.

Learning More About LGBTQIA History & Support

By reading this blog, you are already taking small steps towards becoming more aware and educated about LGBTQIA history and modern-day struggles.  As mentioned above, there are multiple communities and programs that were started as a result of Stonewall. If you want to have a better understanding of LGBTQIA history, facts, and statistics, here are some of my favorite resources to explore:

  • GLAAD: A multifaceted resource that tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and promote dialogue aimed to change cultural norms and promote LGBTQIA+ acceptance.
  • Out of Yer Shell: A website that aims to provide education, support, and community to ultimately decrease the rates of suicide and homelessness for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Youth.
  • CenterLink: Helps to build community-based centers to serve the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community and is currently serving 250 areas. These centers provided education and aid in accessing services as well as helping to organize social change.
  • Bisexual Resource Center: This resource center helps provide resources, support, and celebration by connecting and educating the bi+ community and the global community.
  • The Trevor ProjectProviding suicide and crisis intervention 24/7 to LGBTQIA+ under 25 through the phone line, texting, and chat options.

Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Laura Meihofer’s LLC is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and others, as an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products Laura organically uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Laura will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps her spread her message!

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