October marks LGBT History Month, which was started in 1994 by a Missouri high school teacher, Rodney Wilson. He sought out other teachers and community leaders, who then chose October because school was in session and it coincided with National Coming Out Day on October 11.
Soon enough LGBT History Month was endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the National Education Association. In 2006 Equality Forum took over the responsibility for providing content, promotion and resources for the month, including the website LGBThistorymonth.com which features a different LGBT icon each day in October.
SFGN will be participating in a special history project spearheaded by the Philadelphia Gay News throughout October. More than two dozen LGBT media outlets around the country will run the weekly features.
One of the special features includes an article on the intersection between the Black Panthers and the gay rights movement and more. SFGN will contribute two pieces this year to the project – a deep dive into the Mattachine Society’s Dick Leitsch and a feature on the Florida Panhandle’s Emma Jones Society.
“For many years the LGBT community didn’t know its own history. In many cases historians tried to censor those voices from the past,” said Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News. “We’ve attempted to examine and record our history so we as a people are no longer invisible from current events to history books. All segments of the population have a past, ours has been invisible for too long.”
Last year during LGBT History Month SFGN explored the sexuality of Addison Mizner, the father of South Florida’s signature Spanish revival architecture. SFGN was the first publication to write about Mizner likely being gay.