UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 26, 2024

LGBT history month meant to spread awareness, acceptance of differing sexualities, gender identities

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October is LGBT history month, a month dedicated to highlighting critical moments in LGBT history and showcasing members of the community who have helped get LGBT individuals receive civil rights. 

According to an article published on glaad.org, “Celebrate LGBT history month,” the history month was originally created in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, a high school teacher from Missouri. The month includes multiple important days for the LGBT community including National coming out day on Oct. 11, the celebration of the first LGBT march on Washington on Oct. 14, spirit day on Oct. 20, where people wear purple in support of LGBT youth, and Ally week, a celebration of LGBT allies who fight back against bullying, beginning on Oct. 12.

Dixie State University continues to welcome LGBT students and staff to campus including an LGBT resource coordinator, Barrett Beck, who said it is important to remember how far the LGBT community has come, but also to ensure that they don’t lose those rights they fought for.

Beck said: “If people forget the history of the community, it puts us at risk of losing the rights we’ve fought for. Historically, the best the LGBTQ+ community could hope for was being ignored, and at worst, we were rounded up and killed.”

Margaret Martin, a sophomore integrated studies major from Portland, Oregon, and the current head of the LGBT Student Association at DSU, said it is important to bring light to the LGBT community this month. Many people in the community don’t know very much about the LGBT history, and there is a lot to be learned from it.

Martin said, “LGBT+ month is so important because as we grew up, we couldn’t possibly learn history from every outlook and perspective, but having a month dedicated to a specific group allows us to learn more about our past, to better understand today, and make better decisions for our future.”

Celeste Gonzalez, a freshman criminal justice major from Fontana, California, and a member of the LGBTSA student club, said it’s hard to get the word out about LGBT history month because of a lack of funding, but the club is making posters to hang around campus with more information about LGBT history. 

Gonzalez also said fear of backlash has caused the club to become a little more conservative with their outreach to the students and community. She said even on college campuses, students in the LGBT community get bullied for speaking out about their sexuality.

“I know we want to do more, but it’s just like because Utah is such a conservative state, we’re afraid to,” Gonzalez said.

The Multicultural Inclusion Center is hosting a showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Kenneth N. Gardner Student Center with a discussion about LGBT history month and all are welcome.

The members of the LGBTSA club encourage students to learn more about the history of the LGBT community and to celebrate LGBT history month along with them.