Lesbian and gay history month arrives in October

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is proud to announce that October is "Lesbian & Gay History Month: A Celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History." The theme of this fourth annual event is "Charting the Future, Reclaiming the Past," which will highlight the often ignored contributions of gay figures and the community in history.

During Lesbian & Gay History Month, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community examines its political struggle, cultural achievements and collective creativity. "Lesbian & Gay History Month creates a more honest and complete understanding of history by telling untold stories," said Joan M. Garry, GLAAD's Executive Director. "It provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the distance we have traveled as a community and to honor the stewards of that journey."

GLAAD is pleased to be co-sponsoring Lesbian & Gay History Month with a number of other national organizations, including the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Teachers Network, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum, Dignity USA, the Bisexual Network of the US (BiNet USA), National Latino/a Lesbian & Gay Organization (LLEGO), GenderPAC, the Human Rights Campaign, Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG), LEAGUE at AT&T, Gay and Lesbian Parents Coalition International, It's Time America and the National Youth Advocacy Coalition.

In addition, GLAAD is proud to welcome American Express Financial Advisors as Lesbian & Gay History Month's primary corporate sponsor. "Lesbian & Gay History Month is a unique approach to celebrate the many accomplishments of the gay and lesbian community," said Marie Tobin, American Express Financial Advisors' Community Relations Program Manager. "American Express Financial Advisors applauds this effort to educate the public and its goal of nurturing an inclusive society."

In January 1994, a high school teacher in Missouri, appalled by the exclusion of lesbian and gay history from textbooks, set out to make a change. Rodney Wilson organized teachers and community leaders to educate the public about lesbians and gay men past and present. They formed a national grassroots network to create a celebration and education campaign that continues today. The month of October was selected to commemorate the anniversaries of the first two lesbian and gay marches on Washington in October 1979 and 1987.

GLAAD's official History Month World Wide Web site can be accessed through GLAAD's Homepage at www.glaad.org. The site will be continuously updated with a listing of new co-sponsors, community endorsers, a calendar listing of History Month events and information on how everyone can participate in this celebration

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