Monday, October 1, 2012

LGBT History Month

Image by Diana *BunnyKissd* Bukowski

Welcome to October!  That special time of year when we celebrate the history & contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender peoples, the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements, much like we do in February for Blacks and from September 15 to October 15th for Hispanics.  As when "Negro History Week" was first created in 1926, the hope is that it will eventually be eliminated when it becomes an integral part of our history, but although progress has been made, there is so much more to be done...

In July 2011, California passed a law that schools would be required to include materials that cover the contributions of LGBT Americans.  (The law also includes "persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups.")  So far they are the only state to have mandated that schools teach this, and with the controversy and confusion surrounding the law, it may be a long while before any other states follow in their footsteps.

Meanwhile it's up to us to take the lead, and show them how it's done.  Each day this month, the Queer Etsy Street Team will be posting information on a significant LGBT person or event in history that you can share with friends, family, classmates, teachers...

Today we're sharing some links to other places where you can find great information on including LGBT history in your curriculum:

~ The LGBT History website is a great place to start.  They have ideas and resources, and will be posting a video daily this month celebrating LGBT icons throughout history.

~ The Safe Schools Coalition offers resources for teachers from pre-K through high school to teach age-appropriate lessons that include those on the LGBT spectrum: anti-bullying and family diversity at the lower levels moving into gender stereotypes, gay rights, and LGBT contributions in history, music, art, literature... from middle school up.

~ Jerome Stueart has a wonderful post outlining a possible curriculum for teaching LGBT material in schools called Hidden Histories.


Also this month:

~ October is also National Bullying Prevention Month.

~ October 10th is Unity Day; wear orange to show your support and remind others about the importance of bullying prevention.

~ October 11th is National Coming Out Day when we celebrate coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or as an ally. See the Human Rights Campaign website for resources on coming out.

~ October 19th is Spirit Day; wear purple on this day to support LGBT youth & stand up against bullying.

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