LGBT History Month celebrates our heritage because our community is the only one worldwide whose history is not taught in schools, religious institutions or at home. A Missouri high school teacher, Rodney Wilson, decided in 1994 that enough was enough and began work to dedicate the entire month of October to celebrate and teach gay & lesbian history. Rodney selected October because public schools are in session and existing celebrations such as National Coming Out Day (October 11th) and GLAAD Spirit Day (October 17th) already occur.
We thought you might to know about some of the biggest moments in our history as we celebrate LGBTQ History Month on PRIDE Radio:
June was chosen as LGBTQ Pride Month in commemoration of the Stonewall Inn riots that took place in Manhattan in June of 1969, starting the modern Pride Celebration movement.
The first rainbow flag made its debut in San Francisco in 1978 and was designed by Gilbert Baker, an artist who hand-painted each stripe. Each color on the original flag has a meaning: pink symbolizes sexuality, red means life, orange is healing, yellow is sunlight, green stands for nature, turquoise is for magic & art, blue is serenity & harmony, and violet represents spirit.
The world's oldest LGBTQ organization is the Center For Culture and Leisure founded in the Netherlands in 1946.
Leonardo Da Vinci was known to have his artwork feature eroticism and he was even caught with a popular male caller.
Historians believe Michelangelo took to his poetry to express his sexuality to his male lovers.
Karl Heinrich Ulrichs named the “Father of the LGBTQ Movement” first spoke out for gay rights in 1867.
In 1924, The Society For Human Rights becomes the first gay rights organization in the US but is unfortunately shut down by police after a few months.
In 1952, Christine Jorgensen became the first American to have gender-reassignment surgery.
In 1975 Minneapolis became the first city to pass law that protects transgender people from discrimination.
In 1982 Wisconsin became the first state to ban discrimination on basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment, and public accommodations.
The U.S. saw their first TV kiss between two women in 1991 on L.A. Law.
In 2009 President Obama signed law making it a federal crime to assault someone because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The amazing writer behind A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams, was openly gay and was well known in the 1940’s New York homosexual community.
Hollywood sex symbol Cary Grant was married 5 times, but also had relationships with several other men, including a 12 year relationship with actor Randolph Scott.
The man best known as Norman Bates from Psycho, Anthony Perkins, had relationships with many Hollywood men including dancer Rudolf Nureyev, composer Stephen Sondheim, and Christopher Makos.
The first same-sex marriage became legal in 2004 when Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, CA, ordered city hall to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Later that year, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. 10 years later, by 2014, same-sex marriage had become legal for nearly 70% of the U.S. population.
On June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down all state bans against same-sex marriage in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case.