About GLBT History Month
In the 1990s, teachers and community leaders believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of GLBT history. They selected October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), occur then.
GLBT History Month was endorsed by GLAAD, HRC, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and other national organizations. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber declared October 1995 to be Lesbian and Gay History Month; and in July 1995, the National Education Association voted to support the concept. In 1996, the governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut and the mayors of Boston and Chicago also proclaimed October GLBT History Month.
In 2006, Equality Forum’s Board of Directors and National Board of Governors voted unanimously to coordinate GLBT History Month, modeling it on Black History Month and Women’s History Month.
The goals of GLBT History Month are to teach GLBT history, to provide role models, to build community and to highlight the GLBT community’s important national and international contributions.
Icon Selection Criteria
Thirty-one GLBT Icons were selected, one for each day of the month. Equality Forum solicited state, national and international leaders for nominations. The nominees comprised individuals, living or dead, who have distinguished themselves within their fields of endeavor, as national heroes, or in the GLBT civil rights movement. GLBT History Month 2007 Co-Chairs — the Rev. Nancy Wilson, Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), and Professor Kenji Yoshino, Yale Law School — recommended from the nominations the 31 Icons to the Equality Forum Board of Directors.
About Equality Forum
Equality Forum is a national and international GLBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates GLBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high impact initiatives and presents the largest annual international GLBT civil rights forum. For more information, visit: www.equalityforum.com