Some people wonder why it is important to attach months with social issues. What they don’t understand is that the importance lies within the untold history.
Every year since 1994, October has been designated LGBTQ+ history month. Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, gathered a group of passionate teachers and leaders to bring awareness to the history of LGBTQ+ people. Equality Forum has dedicated each day to a person who was either a member of the community, and/or was an ally and advocated for equal rights.
Despite having a month dedicated to people being recognized, there seems to be something lacking still. This month falls in the middle of an academic calendar, a time where students are starting to get to know one another. So, what better opportunity to help them learn and understand concepts that may be unfamiliar to them then by using this month to put on programs and days to bring awareness to the history.
The Diversity Services office hosts these kinds of events, such as Coming Out Day. They also have guests come to the school, such as Eliel Cruz, who spoke about what his life is like being a bisexual man of faith.
But not enough universities are capitalizing on this. There is not a lot of effort to bring awareness to the history and to the people. Many administrations in universities have a difficult time showing support for queer students. They leave those responsibilities on diversity services, clubs and organizations already supporting the LGBTQ+ community to bring awareness to the student body. These groups of people cannot be the only ones spreading awareness. Administration and the different departments should participate more.
Administration should sponsor events with diversity services and place tables, supported by heads of faculty, around the school. Departments can host events where they list prominent figures that were a part of the LGBTQ+ community. This would not take much effort on their part, and it enhances the inclusivity that the month is trying to establish.
By teaching people about these important figures, they will learn that they have succeeded in life despite the discrimination they have faced. This allows younger people, who face discrimination because of their sexuality or their gender identities, to believe in the idea that they can still live prosperous lives.
Some of these people have been taught about in schools, such as Leonardo DaVinci and Frida Kahlo. But there has been no mention of their sexuality. People such as Alice Walker have been ignored in most schools, and what they have done to fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community has been dismissed. This is a blatant act of the destruction of history.
This is pure destruction because to describe it as an omission of facts is not enough.
Destroying their identities prevents people from having the confidence to be who they are. This leads to more people dying because of their transgender identity, more children and teens being kicked out of their homes and more discrimination in workplaces. This is happening because not enough people know the true history of the LGBTQ+ community. Their voices for far too long have been silenced, and if they are heard they are easily forgotten.