October is LGBT History Month. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that LGBT individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. National Coming Out Day (October 11), as well as the first “March on Washington” in 1979, are commemorated in the LGBT community during LGBT History Month.
For 31 days, 31 outstanding individuals are recognized for the contributions they made to LGBT history. This year that list includes amazing activists, athletes, political leaders, authors, entertainers, entrepreneurs, journalists, scientists and military leaders.
Related: LGBT History Month
“The criteria is LGBT living or deceased, national or international persons who have distinguished themselves in their field of endeavor, national hero or made a major contribution to LGBT civil rights,” said Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of the Equality Forum.
The Equality Forum compiled the list. The organization is a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus.
“The LGBT community is the only minority worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools or religious institutions,” Lazin said. “LGBT icons teach us our history and highlight our important national and international contributions.”
The 2016 icons include a former U.S. President, current Luxembourg head of state, Indian and Israeli gay pioneers, and pop stars, among others.
Activists highlighted this year are:
- Virginia Apuzzo
- Chaz Bono
- Jeanne Cordova
- Essex Hemphill
- Frances Kellor
- Janet Mock
- Jean O’Leary
- Jose Antonio Vargas
- Bruce Voeller
Several of this year’s honorees made their mark in politics:
- Xavier Bettel
- Brian Bond
- James Buchanan (Yes, the 15thS. president)
- Andrew Tobias
A few journalists are also singled out for their contributions:
- Charles Blow
- Ashok Row Kavi
- Jim Kepner
A couple of this year’s honorees are honored for their athletic achievements. They include:
- Sherri Murrell
- Diana Nyad
Entertainers from different areas of show business will also be featured:
- Josephine Baker
- David Bowie
- Ellen Page
Artists from different genres include:
- Lili Elbe
- Essex Hemphill
- Terrence McNally
Scientists featured on this year’s list are:
- John Fryer
- Oliver Sacks
- Bruce Boeller
Other LGBT pioneers who will be honored are:
- Malcolm Forbes
- Kay Lahusen
- Tammy Smith
- James Obergefell
For more information, visit LGBTHistoryMonth.com.