How Can We Support LGBTQ+ History Month?

The month of October is home to far more than spooky ghouls and goblins. We are talking about LGBTQ History Month. So fasten your seatbelts because we are about to dive deep.

What is LGBTQ+ History Month?

26 years ago, a group of teachers realized that their curriculums danced around LGBTQ history, and failed to give credit and praise to historical icons from the LGBTQ community. In fact, worldwide the LGBTQ+ community is the only community that does not have its history taught at home, in public schools, or in religious institutions. Here are some of the most major legislative and equality achievements:

1958 – The Supreme Court of the United States acted on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community’s side for the first time. They sided with “One” (the first gay magazine in the U.S.) against the US Postal Service, for refusing to deliver the magazine. 

1961 – Illinois became the first state to make homosexuality legal. 

1969 – The rise of Stonewall and the gay rights movement. 

1973 – The American Psychiatric Association finally removed homosexuality from its mental disorder list. 

1982 – Wisconsin became the first state to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

2003 – Massachusetts became the first state to make gay marriage legal.

2016 – President Obama and his administration announced it will end the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military, once implemented by Bill Clinton (the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy”).

To educate today’s youth, many of who identify as LGBTQ+ themselves, LGBTQ+ History Month was born. Initially, the month was named “Gay and Lesbian History Month”, but as the visualization of those who did not purely identify as gay or lesbian came into the spotlight, the official name changed to “LGBTQ+ History Month”.

Today, LGBTQ+ History Month celebrates the achievements of 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender icons with one new figure being introduced each day of October. This civil rights statement allows the community to stand in its spotlight to honor their extraordinary national and international contributions.

4 LGBTQ+ Holidays Happening in October

National Coming Out Day: October 11th

In 1988, Richard Eichberg and Jean O’Leary founded “Coming Out Day ” to raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community and its prominent civil rights movement. October 11th was chosen to mark the anniversary of the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. 

Today, National Coming Out Day is observed throughout the United States and other countries around the world. The day is used as an outlet for closeted LGBTQ+ members to embrace their community publically.

In fact, organizations like The Trevor Project have created valuable resources to support individuals who are preparing to come out to friends, family, or the general public. Most recently, The Trevor Project has published “COMING OUT: A Handbook for LGBTQ Young People” which contains helpful tips, faqs, and advice for readers.

Spirit Day: October 15th

In support of LGBTQ+ youth, Spirit Day is celebrated across the United States as a way to take a stance against LGBTQ+ bullying and harassment, which is unfortunately still a pressing issue in U.S. schools. Observers are encouraged to wear purple and spread important facts about the challenges LGBTQ+ youth face, such as:

70.1% of LGBTQ students report being verbally harassed.

71% of LGBTQ students report hearing homophobic remarks from teachers and/or school staff because of their gender expression

86% of LGBTQ youth said that recent politics have negatively impacted their well-being.

1 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their LGBTQ identity.

Intersex Awareness Day: October 26

To celebrate the first intersex protest that occurred in Boston, MA, October 26th is dedicated to promoting human rights actions and to educating the public about the history of the intersex community. This day was officially established in 2004 by Betsy Driver and Emi Koyama. 

Asexual Awareness Week: October 25 -31

This week, also known as ACE week, serves as an international campaign for raising awareness and expanding education on asexuality. This campaign was not founded until 2010, but since has made extraordinary progress including joining multiple organizations such as Asexual Outreach, and financing an educational documentary.

Political News for the LGBTQ+ Community in 2021

All over the world, we are seeing incredible forthcomings for the LGBTQ+ community. Here are a few of our favorites from 2021 thus far:

  1. If we take a leap across the pond and over to Europe, we will find some exciting news coming from Germany. Two transgender women have won seats in the German parliament. These women mark the first time in history that transgender women have won seats in the country’s parliamentary election.
  2. Back in January, President Joe Biden officially overturned former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military. The order also applies to the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security. This also calls for a review of any service member who may have been discharged based on their gender identity.
  3. In June, the Biden administration extended Title IX’s protections to transgender students. Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex. This expansion now prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  4. As of July, there are nearly 1,000 LGBTQ+ elected officials in the United States. This has more than doubled the number of LGBTQ+ elected officials from four years ago. In another light, this is a seventeen percent increase from just last year!
  5. Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis just became the first sitting governor to have a same-sex marriage! He and his now-husband Marlon Reis have been together for eighteen years and decided to tie the knot to mark the anniversary of their first date. 

How to Celebrate and Support LGBTQ+ History Month Every Month

While October should be a breath of fresh air for the LGBTQ+ community, where their attention is on learning and showcasing their proudest moments, many moments have clouded their joy with political pressure. While this may be a month to celebrate the many incredible moments and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, it is also important to recognize the work that still needs to be done. 

Now more than ever, it is important to not only tune in but to find ways to show support to those whose rights are at risk. One way to show support is to divest in companies that have not shown any public support for the LGBTQ+ community and direct personal funding to those who have. Our team at Invested Interests is dedicated to providing investment portfolios that cater to what matters most, which is why our Human Rights and Diversity portfolio means so much to us this month and every month. 

If you are looking to realign your investment choices with your political motivations, we would be more than happy to help. Connect with us here, and start investing in what matters.

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