We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny . . . I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be.~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender history is long, often painful, and fractured. Though time is too short for a thorough delve into the details of that history, it has occurred to me that this may be the reason we now honor both Gay Pride Month in June and LGBT History Month in October.
It’s also the reason it may make sense to begin this MPR-produced video – an introduction to LGBT history the video was the highlight of this year’s Gay Price Month celebration. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/06/24/lgbt-pride-month-march-of-progress. It’s also a good reason to check this extensive calendar of events and commemorations of that history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LGBT_awareness_days
A Big Picture approach to the complex history absolutely must begin with a review of essential resources prepared by the Library of Congress. One is this amazingly thorough – and accessible – guide prepared by the Library of Congress. Do not pass “go” – stop here: https://www.loc.gov/rr/main/lgbtq/lgbtqgeneralguide/pride-masterlist-exhibition-2017.pdf
You’ll want to keep learning, so move on to this backgrounder on LGBT Month. And now proceed to some other gems, including an informative backgrounder on the history and purpose of LGBT Month (https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/) and a great overview of related resources. (https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/resources/
The National Archives offers a comprehensive overview of the documents and other archival records that trace and preserve the history of LGBT Americans. https://www.archives.gov/news/topics/lgbt-pride-month
No surprise that Wikipedia offers a substantive overview of the background on LGBT History Month which includes a very helpful listing of related resources – another good starting point to further exploration. The bibliography is excellent.
With all due respect to the National Park Service I admit that I was surprised – and totally awed, to find their excellent series of series about the heritage of the LGBT community. It is unique and essential! https://www.nps.gov/subjects/tellingallamericansstories/lgbtqheritage.htm
LGBT History Month will undoubtedly prompt a host of local nonprofits, professional and educational associations, the faith community and corporations to sponsored related events. Watch the mainstream or social media for details. A couple of local LGBT History Month events have been mentioned briefly in past blog posts.
- The East Side Freedom Library will host a special LGBT Month program on September 18. Brian V Xiong Ed.D, Minnesota State University Mankato will lead a discussion of his dissertation in a program entitled “The Experiences of Gay Hmong Men: An Exploratory Study.” The free and open program is 7:00 PM at ESFL, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul. (http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/events/the-experiences-of-gay-hmong-men-an-exploratory-study%E2%80%8B/)
- Beginning October 13 through January 31, 2018 the Tretter Collection Transgender Oral History Project at the U of M will sponsor a major exhibit entitled “In Their Own Words.” The exhibit “highlights the diversity, resilience and creativity of the Trans and Gender Non-conforming community in Minneapolis and throughout the Upper Midwest, through images storytelling, film, and critical conversations.” One feature of the Project is a special public program set for Thursday, October 19, 5:00-7:30 PM at the Elmer L. Andersen Library, 222 21st Avenue South, on the U of M West Bank. Free and open; details and reservations here: https://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/words-t ter-collection-transgender-oral-history-project/
Finally, a couple of related resources:
- Because LGBT History and Hispanic Heritage Months overlap, LGBT pioneer Tony Segura rates special mention: http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2016/10/10/tony_segura_may_have_been_the_most_important_early_gay_rights_organizer.html
- Finally, these powerful quotes from LGBT writers offer much to ponder and share during LGBT History Month: https://www.out.com/art-books/2016/4/07/37-inspirational-quotes-lgbt-writers#slide-0