My name is Sweet (They/Them) and I will be talking about what LGBTQ+ history month is about and its significance. This post is for everyone, especially for the allies of our community.
The month signifies the community claiming its past, present, and future. More visibility has allowed more people to have an opportunity to learn, change attitudes for the better and allowed the community to rewrite our story. However, in light of continued attack against different parts of the community, it is important to remind ourselves of the past. To remember why we can’t go back, to learn from the past and create a future where members of the community are treated with the dignity and love that they deserve. LGBTQ+ history month was created by Rodney Wilson, a high school teacher in 1994 which was later included within a list of commemorative months by the National Education Association. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for people to learn and celebrate the contributions of its members throughout history to create a safer future.
An important event in LGBTQ+ history embarked in 1969 with a series of demonstrations, know as the ‘Stonewall riots’. This was in response to police raiding Stonewall Inn, a gay club, sparking bar patrons and neighbourhood residents to riot, leading to six days of protects and violent clashes with law enforcements. This has had an enormous impact on the gay rights movement around the world. Two prominent yet forgotten figures in the Stonewall riots were two trans women of colour, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera. Moreover, their efforts after the riots were even more enduring, namely helping offer housing to homeless and trans youth, and leading the Gay Liberation Movement. They continue to inspire the fight for justice that hasn’t yet been won, especially the issues surrounding the health, safety, and autonomy of Black, Brown and Indigenous Trans women. Pride month is celebrated in honour of the stonewall riots, to celebrate the battles fought and empower the battles yet to be won.
Despite the struggles and injustices faced by the community, its members keep a warm and gentle heart that draws its members into finding one another. If you identify as part of the community, know that you are not alone. You can meet other people from your community by messaging @unibathlgbtplus Instagram page to find out more information. I am also happy to add you to the discord/WhatsApp LGBTQ+ groups and provide support/signposting if you have concerns or questions. To get in touch, email email@example.com.