The importance of LGBT History Month in the United States
Many people are very familiar with Pride Month. Although marked throughout the world at slightly different times of the year, Pride Month universally celebrates the global fight for LGBTQ rights and connects back to the Stonewall Riots that sparked the beginning of the LGBTQ rights movement in 1969. However, Pride Month is not the only month of the year dedicated to acknowledging the LGBTQ community. In the United States, where one of our offices is based, we also celebrate ‘LGBT History Month’ during October, to align with Coming Out Day on October 11th.
LGBT History Month in the United States was established in 1994 by a high school teacher called Rodney Wilson, with the purpose of teaching gay and lesbian history. It was originally called ‘Gay and Lesbian History Month’, and we are proud to say that one of our clients, GLAAD, endorsed it from the very outset. 30 years later, there is still a lot of the LGBT history that is not taught in schools, and many people therefore fail to learn about historical LGBTQ figures until later in life. Thankfully, organizations such as History UnErased, an LGBTQ non-profit, are working hard in partnership with education systems to address this problem.
Even before the Stonewall Riots, individual LGBTQ activists were fighting for their rights to employment, regardless of their sexual preference, with demonstrations in front of many federal agencies. Decades later, we have seen anti-discrimination laws at city and state level, but it is still not enough. Many members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially those who are transgender and transexual, are still discriminated against when applying for jobs, and many are not protected, meaning that their employer can fire them based on their gender identity or sexual orientation alone.
That is why we at Society are proud to mark and affirm LGBT History Month. For us, it is important to highlight and educate people about LGBTQ Employment Rights in the United States, and there is still a lot of work to do in that space. We are proud that through our work at Society, we champion for LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations throughout the world.
LGBT History Month is a great opportunity to start conversation regarding everything that has been achieved throughout the years, but also the things that still need to be done to create a more equitable society for all individuals.
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