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The Significance of LGBT History Month

By John Miller '12, J.D. '17

October is LGBT History Month, a month-long celebration of queer identities. The celebration began in October 1994 when Missouri high-school teacher Rodney Wilson decided to create a curriculum for educators to better instruct their classes on gay history. Wilson became inspired after coming out to his high school history class while teaching a lesson on the Holocaust. Since then, LGBT History Month has evolved to educate the public on the achievements and legacy of history’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer leaders.

But LGBT History Month is more than a time for education. It is a time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. It is a time of remembrance. It is a time to support one another. The spirit of our community culminates on October 11th with National Coming Out Day as we embrace those who are choosing to share or reaffirm their identity.    

As October begins, the Cal Aggie Lambda Alumni Association (CALAA) would like to take the time to thank all the LGBTQIA leaders, both past and present, who have made it possible for organizations like ours to exist today. October 2020 marks a new chapter for CALAA. Over the next year, CALAA plans to expand membership; provide you with ongoing, educational programming; and host several mixers. While the pandemic has made it hard for us to be with one another, it has highlighted the importance of community.

To kick off this new chapter, I would like to encourage LGBTQIA alumni and allies to consider donating to the Lambda Alumni Scholarship fund. Each year, CALAA grants one exemplary UC Davis undergraduate, graduate, or professional student a $1,000 scholarship to support their studies and efforts to make Davis an even more accepting institution. There is no better way to support your community than by sponsoring the next generation. As we  move into LGBT History Month, I ask that you please consider donating to this worthy cause.

If you would like to know more about LGBT History Month, consider checking out the Equality Forum. Equality Forum provides readers with up-to-date news and history on all things LGBTQIA. If you are looking for something more in-depth, there are great podcasts available. One personal favorite is Making Gay History, an affiliate of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). And if you are looking for some light reading, take a look at the LGBTQ+ Health Book Exhibit from 2018. I strongly recommend Martin Duberman’s Stonewall.

If you have any questions about LGBT History Month, CALAA, the Lambda scholarship, or how else you can get involved, feel free to send me an email at alumni@ucdavis.edu.    

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