October is LGBT History Month in North America. Founded in 1994, by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson, the event was intended to highlight the lack of queer issues in the education curriculum.
October was chosen by Wilson because National Coming Out Day had already been established (October 11th), and October commemorated the first march on Washington by gay activists in 1979. LGBT History Month is intended to encourage honesty and openness about being queer.
Since 2006, Philidalphia-based Equality Forum has been curating lists of LGBT icons, adding 31 every year to match the number of days in October. In 2022, they are up to 496 people! Although very American in its programming, notable Canadians who have been declared icons include: k.d. lang, Irshad Manji, Elliot Page and Rufus Wainwright.
For educators, there are free downloadable images and bios of every inductee, as well as other resources to teach about queer lives and queer history.
In 2022, one of our favourite authors, Radclyffe Hall, was inducted—something we’re happy to celebrate. Our Past Matters.