What is LGBT History Month?
National Lesbian Gay
Bisexual Transgender History Month commemorates the first two
gay and lesbian marches on Washington in October 1979 and
October 1987. Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month not
only serves as a time to study gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender history, but to provide an opportunity to celebrate
the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
people to world history. This year the LGBT Outreach with the
help of the Equality
Forum will be presenting a short online documentary each day
on a different icons of LGBT History.
is it important that we celebrate LGBT History?
It is very easy sometimes to forget the importance of history.
This is especially true for members of the LGBT Community.
Unlike other cultural communities Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and
Transgender people do not learn their history in their homes so
the intergenerational exchange of cultural history is truly
vested in the community itself.
One of the biggest problems within the LGBT community is the
lack of role models and the sense of long standing community. So
to combat problem at Marshall the LGBT Outreach began observing
LGBT History Month as a way to encourage the exchange of
Only by understanding our past struggles can we as a community
understand the value of successes. That is why we celebrate LGBT
Icons to be Featured in the Equality Forums LGBT History
1. Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon
2. Stephen Sondheim
3. Gianni Versace
4. Sheila Kuehl
14. Margarethe Cammermeyer
National Coming Out Day
National Coming Out Day is an international event which gives
gay, lesbian and bisexual people the opportunity to "come out"
to others about their sexuality. It also provides a means of
increasing the visibility of gay people. In the United States,
the day is facilitated by the Human Rights Campaign's National
Coming Out Project (NCOP).
The first National Coming Out Day was held on October 11,
1988. This date was chosen for the annual event in commemoration
of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It
also marks the anniversary of the first visit of the AIDS
Memorial Quilt to Washington, D. C.
Many communities and college campuses sponsor events such as
dances, film festivals, workshops, literature booths, and
rallies on National Coming Out Day.
Marshall will be celebrating national coming out day on
October 10th in the student Center. National coming out day
isn't just for LGBT people it's for allies too. So come out and
help us celebrate our growing community.
More About National Coming Out Day to be announced
LGBT History to consider...
The Importance of "Stonewall"?
by David Bianco
Among gay organizations today, there's
everything from the Stonewall Democratic Club to the Stonewall Chorale;
there's even a bottled water called Stonewall. The word has taken on
mythic proportions in lesbian and gay culture. But its widespread
appropriation doesn't dilute the importance of what happened in the
summer of 1969 in New York City.
The event is still a hot topic of
debate in gay circles, with much disagreement about what actually
precipitated the violence and who took part in it. One legend holds that
Judy Garland's funeral, held June 27 in Manhattan, fanned the flames of
gay rage. Other versions of the story claim that dozens of sequined drag
queens and a mysterious, unidentified butch lesbian were at the
forefront of the street rebellion. But a few facts seem certain.
In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, the police raided the
Stonewall Inn, a dingy, Mafia-run "private club" on Christopher Street
in Greenwich Village with a predominantly gay clientele. The charge was
illegal sale of alcohol. It was the second time that week the bar had
been targeted by the police, and other gay bars had also been raided in
prior weeks. Police officers lined up the Stonewall's 200 patrons to
check identification. Most were free to leave, but the staff, as well as
three drag queens and two male-to-female transsexuals, were detained.
Eyewitnesses recalled that the scene outside the bar was at first campy
and festive. Patrons were joined by tourists and passers-by, and
everyone cheered when a gay person emerged from the bar, dismissed by
the police. But when a paddy wagon arrived and the police loaded the
bar's staff and the three drag queens inside, the crowd on the street
grew surly. One person threw a rock through a window, and eventually
garbage cans, bottles, and even a parking meter were used to assault the
building. Someone set a fire with lighter fluid. By newspaper accounts,
13 people were arrested and three police officers sustained minor
injuries in the confrontation.
Later that night and into Sunday morning, a crowd again gathered in
front of the ravaged bar. Many young gay men showed up to protest the
flurry of raids, but they did so by handholding, kissing, and forming a
chorus line. "We are the Stonewall girls," they sang, kicking their legs
in front of the police. "We wear our hair in curls./We have no
underwear./We show our pubic hair." Police cleared the street without
incident this time, but another street altercation occurred a few days
Even more significant, though, was what happened later in the summer. At
the end of July, gay activists circulated copies of a flyer calling for
a mass "homosexual liberation meeting." The headline of the flyer read,
"Do you think homosexuals are revolting? You bet your sweet ass we are!"
The alliance that formed from the meeting held on July 24 adopted the
name Gay Liberation Front (GLF); among its demands were not only an end
to police harassment, but job protection for gay employees, the repeal
of sodomy laws, and local and national anti-discrimination laws.
Soon, numerous other organizations and a host of gay liberation
publications emerged, first in New York and then across the country.
Estimates suggest that, at the time of the riots, there were a few dozen
gay organizations in the United States. Within a few years, the number
had risen to more than 400.
What is the significants of the Pink Triangle?
The Pink Triangle was used by the Nazis to signify
homosexuals. Although, homosexuals were only one of the groups targeted
for extermination, it is unfortunately, the group that history often
excludes. The Pink Triangle defies anyone to deny history.
In 1935 Hitler revised the German Law, Paragraph 175,
prohibiting homosexuality, by including kissing, embracing, and gay
fantasies as well as sexual acts. Convicted offenders-- an estimated
25,000 from 1937 to 1939, were sent to prison and later transferred to
concentration camps. They were to be sterilized, most often by
castration. Hitler changed his policy on homosexuality to include death
Concentration camp prisoners were designated into
groups by colored inverted triangles. Which set up a social hierarchy
among prisoners. A green triangle marked the wearer as a regular
criminal.; a red triangle denoted a political prisoner. Two yellow
overlapping triangles forming a Star of David denotes Jewish prisoners.
The Pink Triangle was for homosexuals. A yellow Star of David under a
superimposed Pink Triangle represented Gay Jewish prisoners-- by the
social hierarchy, the lowest of all prisoners.
When the war was finally over, many homosexuals
remained prisoners in the camps until 1969 when Paragraph 175 was
repealed in West Germany.
The Pink Triangle was adopted by many Gay rights
groups in the 1970s. Because, it draws attention to the oppression and
persecution -- then and now.
In the 80s, ACT-UP (Aids Coalition To Unleash Power)
started using a Pink Triangle that pointed up, to signify an active
fight back , rather than a passive resignation to fate. Today , for
many, the Pink Triangle represents Pride and Solidarity.