October marks LGBT History Month, which started in 1994 by a Missouri high school teacher, Rodney Wilson. Wilson sought out other teachers and community leaders for his effort and they chose October because school was in session and it coincided with National Coming Out Day on October 11.
Related: LGBT History Month
Soon enough LGBT History Month was endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay ad 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, along with two dozen other LGBT publications around the country, in a special history project spearheaded by the Philadelphia Gay News throughout October.
One of the special features includes an article on the intersection between the Black Panthers and gay rights movement and more. SFGN will contribute two pieces this year to the project – one of the infamous Johns Committee and Cooper Donuts. Both were written by SFGN freelancer Christiana Lilly.
“For many years the LGBT community didn’t know it’s 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, our’s has been invisible for to long.”