By Kiera B.
In celebration of LGBT history month and National Coming-Out Day which was on October 11th, I plan on going over a brief timeline of LGBT history to educate people on how the community has built itself up over the years.
The first documented gay rights organization was founded by Henry Gerber, a homosexual man who was later inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame because of his work for the LGBT community. It’s important to have people looking out for the LGBT community and fighting for their rights, especially when it comes to celebrities or public figures because it shows that people we look up to believe that LGBT people deserve to be treated the same and deserve the same rights as everyone else. In 2012 Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to publicly support the freedom of same-sex marriage. When important people in the media stands up for and supports the community, it lets them know they have someone on their side.
Many people may remember something called the “Stonewall Riots”, which is a widely recognized event that is referenced when talking about how the LGBT community fought for their rights. Violent confrontations broke out between gay rights activists and police in front of Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. Marsha P. Johnson is said to be the person who started the riot, alongside a few other ladies who fought with her, like Stormé Delarverie, who is rumored to have thrown the first punch. Tammy Novak is trans-gender woman who is one of the first people to fight back, and Sylvia Rivera is said to have exclaimed, “It’s the revolution!” and fought beside many other men and women. Sylvia and Marsha both were both founding the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries which helps young trans-gender women and drag queens.
One year after the Stonewall Riots, people rushed to the streets to celebrate Christopher Street Liberation Day, which is considered the first recorded pride parade and helped set an important event in the LGBT community to celebrate our pride in their sexuality. Pride is sometimes seen as a useless event to some people who aren’t part of the community, but if you look at it from the perspective of the people who celebrate it, it’s one of the only chances to be who they are in a completely accepting space. Heterosexuals can express their love for their partners without any criticism and hate because of who they chose to be with, while many same-sex couples who are open and out with their partner get obnoxious comments or hateful threats. Pride is a place that LGBT members can feel safe and happy about who they are and who they love. Another important addition to the community’s history is its flag, though each sexuality has its own flag, the most well-known one is the rainbow flag that is a universal symbol of the community and its members. Gilbert Baker designed and stitched together the beautiful flag as a symbol of love and hope to any member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender population.