LGBTQ+ History Month was founded in 1994 in the U.S. by Rodney Wilson, an openly gay high school teacher in Missouri. Wilson gathered community and national leaders, including educators, in the quest to dedicate a month to celebrating and teaching LGBTQ+ history. In 1995, the National Education Association endorsed LGBTQ+ History Month at its general assembly. In 2009, President Barack Obama declared LGBTQ+ History Month a national history month.
The month of October was selected because it is within the academic calendar year and created space to acknowledge existing observances during the month, including the anniversaries of the first and second LGBTQ+ marches on Washington (1979 and 1987, respectively) and National Coming Out Day (established Oct. 11, 1987, during the second LGBTQ+ march on Washington). LGBTQ+ History Month now also includes International Lesbian Day (Oct. 8), International Pronouns Day (Oct. 19), Spirit Day (Oct. 20), Asexual Awareness Week (Oct. 17 – 21) and Intersex Awareness Day (Oct. 26).
WSU Vancouver recognizes LGBTQ+ History Month and honors lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit, same-gender loving and all peoples, communities, histories and civil rights movements from across the spectrum. LGBTQ+ History Month provides role models, builds community and uplifts the contributions of LGBTQ+ peoples and communities in the U.S. and beyond.
WSU Vancouver is committed to building a community of equity where people from LGBTQ+ and historically excluded communities, including all students, staff, faculty and guests, feel a sense of belonging, representation, safety, love and opportunity to thrive. There is much more to do. Commit to activating your advocacy during LGBTQ+ History Month and every day that follows. Let’s build together.