Is LGBTQ history month necessary?
- LGBTQ History Month was proposed in 1994 by first openly-gay teacher Rodney Wilson. The following year, the General Assembly of the National Education Association (NEA) officially adopted the observance and assigned it the month of October to correspond with October 11: National Coming Out Day (established in 1988).
- LGBTQ History Month is also observed by several other countries, including the UK (since 2005), Scotland (2007), Hungary (2013), Germany (2014), Australia (2016), Canada (2018), and others.
- In September 2022, a Miami-Dade school board voted 8-1 to not designate October as LGBTQ History Month in the wake of Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill that passed in March.
- A February 2022 Gallup report finds LGBTQ identification in the US has ticked up to 7.1%, up from 5.6% in 2021 and 3.5% in 2012, with nearly 21% of Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2003) identifying as LGBTQ.
- NEA member and teacher shared in 2020 that “In having classroom discussions about LGBTQ+ persons, we cannot ignore the violence and discrimination they have faced and continue to face at the hands of hetero- and cis-normativity, the assumption that only heterosexuality and identifying only by one’s gender as assigned at birth (i.e., cisgender) is normal and superior to other sexual orientations or gender identities.“
LGBTQ history month is meant to be a celebratory and educational opportunity for those in, out, and not quite sure where they belong concerning the community. This month-long October event is also unique as a different community member is celebrated each day for their achievements in several various fields. This serves a good purpose, as it opens students' minds to the fact that many members of the LGBTQ community are incredibly influential to society as a whole.
While many are up in arms about this month's celebration in recent times, it was actually first celebrated in 1994 and, over the years, has sparked some other powerful events that have brought many to come together. This month also creates an opportunity to learn more from those who are LGBTQ, such as teachers who might choose to come out to speak about their experiences, which hopefully creates a safe environment for youth to come out while feeling accepted. Many fail to understand that regardless of sexual orientation, people are people, and everyone deserves a voice. This creates the necessity for LGBTQ representation to be present in the mainstream. With the attention Pride Month receives, maintaining LGBTQ history month is vital to amplifying that presence even more.
This community does not represent a large percentage of people, making it even more important this historical recognition happens. LGBTQ people deserve a right to make themselves heard, and having a month-long celebration and narrative creates the possibility to do this. Furthermore, it will hopefully open some more judgmental eyes to seeing these people as they are and accepting them for it.
LGBTQ history month is problematic for many reasons. It perpetuates identity politics—the Marxist critical theory dividing Americans into oppressed groups, to which the LGBTQ+ community is ascribed. But throughout human history, every group has been oppressed at some point. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Italian, Irish, and other immigrant groups also experienced discrimination. Where are their months of recognition?
Placing LBGTQ history month alongside two other major groups—African-Americans, who were held back by slavery and Jim Crow laws, and women, who couldn't vote until the 19th Amendment—implies LGBTQ plight is on that same level. While the gay rights movement began as a fight for freedom and equality, having an LGBTQ history month implicitly elevates sexual desires/identity into the same category as race/sex, which cannot change. Interestingly, the LGBTQ movement pretends that everyone who falls within its ever-expanding letters are all in agreement when, in reality, ongoing tensions exist between LGB and T people. The T is a fairly new identifier, joining the acronym around the 1980-90s.
But the T being included in this month is concerning on its own, as it perpetuates gender identity theory amongst school-aged children. Plus, the T demands much more than brief monthly recognition. It requires year-long widespread acceptance of the belief in multiple genders anyone can identify as despite one's biology, encourages 'affirmation' of childhood transition (without parental consent), and has allowed males to use girl-only spaces and compete against females in sports, despite obvious physical advantages.
There's a difference between acceptance and promotion. A month-long study dedicated to a community whose sexual desires and practices are their primary defining feature should have never been permitted in schools. It has led to increased gender confusion, sexual indoctrination by teachers, and inappropriate interactions between adults and students.