October is LGBTQ+ History Month, which is meant to recognize and honor the historical impacts, achievements, and contributions of queer people.
As a queer person, I was never much of a history buff. Sure, I learned about it in class, I passed most of my tests, but then I went home and forgot every single detail. It wasn’t until I started learning about LGBT history, about the storied struggle for the rights of people like me that spans decades, that I became a history buff. And it was that, it was learning of all the LGBT civil rights leaders, the persecution, the hate, the joy, the love, the hope of LGBTQ Americans, the textbook pages and educational videos and quotes from those that came well before me, that drove me to the work I do today.
The history and beauty of my community, the LGBT community, goes well beyond discussions of sex and should be welcomed and cherished in schools, in media, and everywhere else.
Eighty years ago, I would’ve been forced to wear a pink triangle.
Thirty years ago, I might’ve worn it on purpose, a reclamation in my fight for survival in the AIDS epidemic. Up until 1998, I could’ve been fired in Miami-Dade for just being gay, much less doing anything close to that. And until the Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v Clayton County, which was a mere two years ago, I could’ve been fired, evicted, even denied service at a restaurant for being gay in 55 out of Florida’s 67 counties along with so many other Americans.
We shouldn’t be depriving our students of foundational chapters of our nation’s story. LGBT History is American history because LGBT Americans are Americans.
President, PRISM FL, Inc