LGBT History Month recognizes contributions, focuses on equality

For those who are uneducated about LGBT, you might not know what Pride History month is, nor that it represents the LGBT community. 

Rodney Wilson was a high school teacher from Missouri who is known for starting Pride History month. Not only did he teach his students about Pride month but also about Women’s History Month and Black History Month. In 1994, Wilson wrote an article about gay history, and the article was published by the Missouri Historical Society. University of Missouri St. Louis, the university Wilson worked at, was the very first college to have a gay celebration for history month. Shortly after, Wilson organized a festival for Pride History month. By 1995 Pride History Month was covered by Newsweek, a major news outlet. Wilson is known for bringing students in his college together and assisting in making the school curriculum in North America more accepting of the community. However, Wilson was not the only important historical figure.

Martha P. Johnson was a black transgender woman. She created STAR, Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, which had housing for rejected transgender youth or homeless youth. 

“I think it’s important that all people have the opportunity to celebrate who they are and how they feel. All people need to be able to feel that they are supported and all people need to feel like they’re supporting one another,” Dr. Smith, middle school principal, commented on the subject.  Smith also notes that having the freedom to be yourself is very important, especially during junior high and high school. Although there is not as much representation in our school, he believes that we are moving forward progressively to appropriately support and include all students. 

 “I believe Pride in history is celebrated to show the LGBT community to show their pride in the history of everything they’ve come from and gone through. And to make sure that the new generation knows the struggles that the first generations experienced,” Mrs. Blaire Lasko, tenth grade English teacher and Gay-Straight Alliance club sponsor at Freedom High School, adds to the subject.  

 Mrs. Lasko also added that Allen Turing is a famous mathematician and codebreaker who assisted the United States during World War II. He was celebrated in all of his accomplishments, nevertheless, like a lot of other historical figures, being gay was covered up for Turing. 

“For those who are in middle school and thinking of joining, be sure to join the GSA. We are a safe space for kids to talk and open up about their identity without judgment and we hope to see some of you,” Mrs. Lasko adds.

Freedom aims to be more open to people a part of the LGBT community and offer more support, but even then it is still a topic that is necessary to talk about. If you are a part of the community and can’t come out to your family or need more support, please take in mind Mrs. Lasko’s club, the Gay-Straight Alliance club, for high school! Keep in mind that people cannot change who they are on the inside, so make sure you treat everyone equally and with respect, regardless of your own beliefs.