Equality Forum Presents Its 31 Gay Icons of 2013 for LGBT History Month

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As October marks LGBT History Month, a different gay icon is to be featured every day on the popular website and educational resource viawww.LGBThistorymonth.com. This online hall to fame will showcase downloadable resources from video bios, images, to archives of 150 icons including the 31 nominated individuals this year like Anderson Cooper, Queen Latifah and Sally Ride.

“We accept nominations from around the world from our website. Last year, there were over 500 nominations, and they were reviewed, and then recommended to our board,” said Malcolm Lazin executive director of Equality Forum, a Philadelphia-based LGBT civil rights nonprofit which launched this celebratory project in 2006.

Lazin, also an attorney, says Equality Forum aims to educate the world through promoting prominent LGBT individuals and their impact on the community at large. He does so by providing website users 150 tags or also known as keywords to render easy search tools. “Roughly about two years ago, when he had enough icons, and all of the icons’ resources archived on the site, we created a cloud to post all the information and make it searchable,” said Lazin. “Type in a name say Elton John, and then you are able to click on his name and it allow users to click on his bio and downloadable resources.”

Up until 2012, LGBT history was not included in public education’s curriculum according to Lazin, marking a huge shift in supporting LGBT community. “Last year for the first time, three major school districts in the nation collaborated with LGBT History Month, and those were LA Unified School District, and Broward and Palm Beach Counties’ school districts.”

In 2013, four additional school districts including Miami Dade County added LGBT History to its curriculum.

The value of Equality Forum’s website project also serves to provide teachers with a resource that they can use to teach LGBT history and the many contributions.

To nominate an icon for 2014 lineup, vote now or before November 15 of this year, when polls will close viawww.LGBThistorymonth.com. Also, visitwww.EqualityForum.com for further information.

LGBT History Month 2013 Icons:

Zackie Achmat – South African Activist

Edward Albee – Playwright

Gwen Araujo – Transgender Hero

Reinaldo Arenas – Cuban Author

Axel Axgil – Activist

Djuna Barnes – Author

Joseph Beam – Activist

Gad Beck – Holocaust Survivor

Joan Biren – Documentarian

Patrick Califia – Author

Mandy Carter – Activist

Willa Cather – Author

Tracy Chapman – Singer/Songwriter

Tim Cook – Entrepreneur

Anderson Cooper – Journalist

Elio Di Rupo – Belgium Prime Minister

Martin Duberman – Historian

Tom of Finland – Activist

Brenda Howard - Actor

Nathan Lane – Actor

Queen Latifah – Entertainer

Simon Nkoli – South African Activist

Bruce Nugent – Author

Ma Rainey – Singer

Sally Ride – National Hero

Marlon Riggs – Filmmaker

Vito Russo – Film Historian

Jose Sarria – Activist

George Takei – Actor

Jason Wu – Designer

John Lawrence & Tyron Garner – Legal ActivistsAndrea Richard

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