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Here’s Why LGBTQ+ History is Celebrated in October

Robyn Exton

Oct 15, 2021

Here’s Why LGBTQ+ History is Celebrated in October
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  • Did you know that October is LGBTQ+ History Month? If you didn’t, that’s okay — that doesn’t make you any less of a queer person! It seems to be one of the lesser known celebrations next to Pride Month, but that’s exactly why we’re here to tell you all about it.

    The an annual month-long LGBTQ+ History celebration exists to recognize important moments in history for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. The entire month of October is a chance to celebrate the beauty and diversity that is our LGBTQ+ community. To find out why we celebrate, the difference between History Month and Pride Month, why we celebrate in October, and fun ways you can take part, read on!

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    Why Do We Celebrate?

    Are you wondering how this month-long celebration came to be?

    LGBTQ+ History Month has taken place every October since it was created in 1994 by an openly gay history teacher in Missouri, Rodney Wilson. He proposed History Month because he noticed a lack of education on LGBTQ+ history in schools and the advocates who helped shape the community today. Within the next couple years, the celebration was quickly picked up across the entire nation. Talk about an incredibe queer icon!

    LGBTQ+ History Month exists not only to celebrate how far we’ve come in taking steps toward equality for all, but also to provide insight into the issues that the LGBTQ+ community faces. It’s an incredible opportunity for both LGBTQ+ people and allies to educate themselves.

    History Month vs. Pride Month

    It’s safe to say everybody and their mother is already familiar with Pride Month. While History Month is meant to celebrate the history of gay rights and the civil rights movement, most of us know Pride Month because it’s celebrated in such bold and colorful ways. Showing pride is the enemy of social stigma and shame; celebrated with parades, rallies, festivals, and dance parties throughout the nation — and many other countries across the world.

    The Gay Pride Parade stemmed from the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969, when police raided a New York gay bar called the Stonewall Inn for the second time in one week. The bar’s customers and neighborhood allies protested in a six day riot when the police got violent, parading throughout the streets of New York. The uprising became what we now know as the Gay Pride Parade.

    While there are similarities between the two, the difference between History Month and Pride Month is vast. History Month is meant for education and insight into how far we’ve come in equality, while Pride is all about making our presence known and celebrating being part of the LGBTQ+ community. As far as we’re concerned, both October and June are amazing reasons to celebrate being queer. In fact, every day is!

    Why October?

    Countries around the world celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month at different times throughout the year, so why is it that the United States celebrates in October? The reason is because the month is already marked by several significant dates in LGBTQ history, so what better time to celebrate?

    October 11 is National Coming Out Day in the United States, celebrated in all 50 states since 1990. The day exists every year to encourage and support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people to “come out of the closet.” It’s the perfect reason for people across the country come out to their loved ones in person, on social media, in letters, and plenty of other creative ways.

    Do you want to take a stand against bullying to support LGBTQ+ youth? October 17th is Spirit Day and millions of students across the nation are wearing purple to show their support. With millions of students, parents, teachers, businesses, and celebrities joining in, this is the biggest anti-bullying campaign in the world.

    Usually coinciding with National Coming Out Day or Spirit Day, Ally Week is another important celebration in the month of October. It gives us a chance to recognize the straight allies who continue to fight for LGBTQ+ equality alongside us. Students often give talks in schools about what it means to be an ally, creating a beautiful chance for everyone to stand together.

    Ways to Celebrate

    It’s time to encourage your loved ones and friends to stand up and celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month with you. Yes, even if it’s something as simple as wearing a purple shirt on Spirit Day, supporting someone in their coming out process, or heck, even watching an LGBTQ+ movie with you on Netflix.

    Some other ways you can celebrate include supporting LGBTQ+ companies in your area, such as a queer-friendly restaurants and bars. Some other big brand names that openly support and donate to the LGBTQ+ community include Adobe, Coca Cola, Converse, Estee Lauder, and American Airlines — just to name a few.

    Above all, it’s important to educate yourself and others in the month of October. If you’re a college student, this could look like creating an LGBTQ history exhibit that you post on campus. If you’re employed, you could hold an LGBTQ+ focused lunch and learn at the company you work for. You could even volunteer for an LGBTQ+ cause to show your support.

    A Safe Community with HER

    What better way to support your LGBTQ+ community this October than by joining one of the word’s largest free queer-friendly dating apps? Wherever you are in the world, there are millions of queer singles waiting to meet you on HER. Whether you’re looking for friendship, community, or hoping to find “the one,” the app has something for you!

    In addition to bringing beautiful queer souls together in one app, HER has forums to help you catch up on the latest news in the spirit of History Month — or any time of year for that matter. Plus, you can check out if we have any upcoming HER-sponsored events in your area to meet like-minded womxn in person.

    What are you waiting for? It’s time to find your community now! Download HER to connect, date, and meet millions of singles either online or offline.

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    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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