4 Ways to Celebrate LGBT History Month

Pull out the rainbow balloons, because today marks the first day of your LGBT History Month celebrations. Now this stuff isn’t something we learned in high school history class, so I’ve rounded up a few go-to resources that you can turn to this month to make sure you get all the facts straight gay.

The Equality Forum recognizes LGBT History Month with a nifty site that pays homage to some of our greatest pionqueers. Each day throughout October, you can find details on a different “icon” that has paved the way for gay and lesbian folks throughout the years — from Edward Albee (Oct. 2) and Willa Cather (Oct. 12) to Sally Ride (Oct. 25). Feel free to dig deeper into the archives to discover the long list of icons that have been featured since Equality Forum started the site  eight years ago. There you’ll find a database of more than 200 names.

For something a little more local, the Philadelphia Gayborhood Guru is full of facts about our very own gay neck of the woods, with architectural information about landmarks in the area, and in-depth history of the buildings that house some of our favorite watering holes. Posts are written by President of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides Bob Skiba, who’s worked as a guide in Philly for 14 years. He’s sharpened his Gayborhood chops as an archivist in the William Way Community Center’s John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives, and frequently leads tours of the neighborhood through the center. In other words, he knows his stuff.

Huffington Post’s Gay Voices will be updating its site with recurring “Know Your LGBT History” posts, providing “a brief overview of some of the landmark moments throughout the course of our journey as LGBT and queer-identifying individuals.” Today, it delves into the events surrounding the groundbreaking Burkett vs. Zablocki case in 1971, the movement to officially identify October as LGBT History Month in 1994 and Marta Alvarez, a lesbian inmate imprisoned in Colombia who began petitioning for the allowance of same-sex conjugal visits in 1994.

For the celebrant on the go, Quist, an app you can download for free on your smartphone, offers a daily dose of LGBT factoids through a display of stories that happened on this day in history. For instance, today, there’s a  story about the first transgender rights protest in Paris in 2005. The movement led the country to be the first in the world to declassify transsexuality as an illness in 2009.

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