The City of Lake Worth Beach marked October as LGBT History Month in a proclamation by the City Commission on Oct. 6.
The resolution was sponsored by Commissioner Sarah Malega, the only LGBT member of the Commission and longtime community advocate.
LGBT History Month is traditionally celebrated in October due to many significant historical events in LGBT history taking place in that month. Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day and Oct. 14 is 1979 was the first March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Lake Worth Beach is the only Palm Beach County municipality to do such a proclamation.
Malega was joined by LGBT community members and organizations, including Compass Community Center, Palm Beach County’s only LGBTQ+ community center, PBCHRC, Palm Beach County’s oldest non-partisan LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, and longtime volunteers in the community.
Julie Seaver, executive director of Compass Community center, spoke after the proclamation was read.
"Thank you to the City of Lake Worth Beach for this important proclamation. It truly means so much as it comes at a time where the banning of LGBTQ people from our books and curriculums in schools is sweeping across our state, our nation and in our own backyards," she said. "At a time when our government is trying to erase LGBTQ people from our history, proclamations celebrating the accomplishments of minority populations should always be recognized."
Retired Judge Rand Hoch, president of the PBCHRC, shared similar sentiments.
“After the abhorrent decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down Conversion Therapy bans, LGBTQ+ history is more important than ever. History tells us what conversion therapy does to our youth and drives the vehicle of change forward. We cannot let our children down.”
In a dramatic upset this past July, the United States 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, primarily consisting of Trump-appointed judges, struck down bans on Conversion Therapy in the City of Boca Raton and by Palm Beach County on the grounds of free speech. Activists quickly moved to keep the lawsuits from going to the United States Supreme Court.
“With the current makeup of the United States Supreme Court, it is unlikely that the ruling would be overturned. If upheld, every conversion therapy ban in the country would be unenforceable. We can’t risk that,” said Hoch.
Despite this, Lake Worth Beach has committed to supporting its LGBT citizens and hosts Compass Community Center. Compass is also celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and is highlighting the many Hispanic countries, cultures, and people represented in the diverse LGBT community and history. To see what else Compass has planned for the month, follow their Facebook or check out their website at compassglcc.com.