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GLBT History Month Information

What is it? (Sources: PFLAG National; Equality Forum; Gerber/Hart library & Archives; GLSEN; Human Rights Campaign)

GLBT History Month was established in 1994 in Missouri by several grassroots organizations and educators who believed the accomplishments and contributions of this segment of the u.s. population should be included in accounts of our nation's history.

The month of October was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversaries of the first two gay and lesbian marches on Washington, D.C. in 1979 which drew over 200,000, and 1987 which drew over 500,000 marchers and had the first public viewing of the NAMES Project AIDS Quilt. In addition, Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day in recognition that sexual orientation or gender identity should not prevent any persons from living their lives openly as full participants in our society.

GLBT History Month was declared in 1995 by the governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Oregon, and by the mayors of Chicago and Boston. It has been endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); the Human Rights Campaign; the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educational Network (GLSEN); the Equality Forum; Campus Pride; the U.S. Department of Education; and many other national organizations. Local endorsements include: Cimarron Alliance Foundation in Oklahoma City; PFLAG Norman; PFLAG Tulsa; The Equality Network (TEN) in Tulsa; OU GLBTF; United Students at OU Law; OU LGBTQ Advisory Council; the Reconciling Ministries Committee of St. Stephen's United Methodist Church in Norman; the United Church of Norman-UCC; the Norman Unitarian Universalist Church; the Norman Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists; Americans United for Separation of Church and State (OKC and Norman Chapters); and many other organizations. The City of Norman has proclaimed October, 2010 as GLBT History Month in the City of Norman.

Facts:

  • FBI (2008) reported that, after race and religion, crimes motivated by negative sexual orientation bias comprise the 3rd largest category of hate crimes.
  • 90% of GLBT youth report having been harassed or assaulted during the school year (GLSEN,2005). Cyber-bullying has become pervasive.
  • GLBT youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than other youth. (Trevor Project).