October is LGBT History Month . The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is the only minority worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools or religious institutions. LGBT History Month provides role models, strengthens community, promotes self-empowerment and makes a civil rights statement of the community’s impressive national and international contributions.
Started in 2006, this free website highlights a daily icon of LGBT history, with a video, biography, bibliography, downloadable images and other resources. All 155 icons with resources from 2006 to 2010 are archived on the site. Starting in 2011, the site includes an internal engine under “Icon Search” that enables users to find icons with resources by choosing from over 200 tags.
Our Constitution enshrines individual liberty in its Preamble and in the Bill of Rights. But the Constitution, a political compromise and statement of 1787 societal values, was a flawed document. Even the Framers themselves did not think it was perfect. It allowed slavery, at the same time that it initiated a conversation about liberty. And over the centuries blacks, women, racial and religious groups, among others, and now LGBT citizens, have had to win equality in the courts, by executive orders, through legislation, and by the process of amendment.
In the Kirby Auditorium at the National Constitution Center in 2008, then presidential candidate Barack Obama stated, “This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected.”
LGBT History Month 2011, with its 31 daily icons, includes civil rights activists, such as the outspoken Lady Gaga; Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black, screenwriter of Milk; “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal activist Dan Choi; national hero Daniel Hernandez Jr., the University of Arizona student and intern to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whom many credit with saving her life; first elected transgender judge Victoria Kolakowski; satirist Wanda Sykes, among others.
Visit the site each day at http://lgbthistorymonth.com/ or easily embed the daily icon videos without charge on your website or blog. These 31 icons for 2011, like prior and future LGBT History Month icons, embody the Constitution’s ideal of equal citizenship under the law and a more perfect union.
Malcolm Lazin is the founder and Executive Director of Equality Forum, a national and international LGBT civil rights organization.