October focuses on LGBTQIA+ history

LGBTQIA+ History Month starts Oct. 1 and goes to Oct 31, and unlike pride, which started in the late ’60s and is set to celebrate diversity and fight for equality, LGBTQIA+ History Month was started in ’94 as a way to honor those who had sacrificed either their safety, comfort, relationships and, for many, their lives for the cause. 

Both are equally important, but today we are here for a history lesson. The following are a few of the events that students should be learning about every October to celebrate LGBTQIA+ History Month.
1969: The Stonewall Uprising occurred at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. This uprising is often cited as a catalyst for the beginning of the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

  • 1974: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) of 1974 prohibits discrimination in lending based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or the receipt of public assistance, but omits any mention of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 1977: Harvey Milk is elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He was one of the first openly gay elected officials. He was assassinated after serving less than a year in office.
  • 1988: The Fair Housing Act, originally passed in 1968 and amended in 1988, protects Americans from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, and disability, but omits any mention of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 1994: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is instituted, a policy that banned openly gay and lesbian members of the military from serving in the U.S. armed forces.
  • 2009: Then-President Barack Obama signs a Presidential Memorandum that allows same-sex partners of federal employees to receive benefits, but it does not cover health benefits.
  • 2010: The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is repealed, allowing gay and lesbian people to serve openly in the U.S. military.
  • 2015: Same-sex marriage is legalized in all 50 U.S. states by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges.
  • 2019: The Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019 was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill would have provided protection from discrimination in credit lending in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. It did not receive a vote, and therefore did not pass. To date, the bill has not been reintroduced in the current Congress.
  • 2020: The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County bars discrimination in employment decisions in relation to a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 2021: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) clarifies that the ECOA includes protections for LGBTQ+ people, making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Just like many groups who have faced discrimination, the LGBTQIA+ community has had quite a few losses and very few wins, that is why there is LGBTQIA+ History Month. It is there so that as the fight for equality continues the community never forgets why they are fighting or becomes complicit with discrimination in any form. It is there as a reminder of the queer people of the past who have fought and died for the rights they have today and the rights they will fight for tomorrow. Many fights are still going on, the fight to end conversion therapy, the fight for the right to gender reassignment without stacks of paperwork, the fight to end the transgender panic defense, the right to use the bathroom, go to the club, wear a dress, kiss their partner or adopt a child without being bombarded with inappropriate questions, harassment and the threat of abuse and or death. All of these things stare down the community in 2021, and that is why the community and everyone else needs LGBTQIA+ history month. Because the fight is still going. 


Stonewall Era and Uprising.”



Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’.”

Milestones in the American Gay Rights Movement.”

Obergefell v. Hodges.”

Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019 — S. 1246.”

S. 1246 — Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019.”

Bostock v. Clayton County.”

CFPB Clarifies That Discrimination by Lenders on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Is Illegal.”

Building LGBTQ+ Families: The Price of Parenthood.”

The Burden of LGBTQ Student Loan Debt.”

LGBTQ Money Survey: Attitudes, Challenges, and Opportunities.”

Healthcare Laws and Policies.”

Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.”

Health Insurance Coverage of Recommended Gender-Affirming Health Care Services for Transgender Youth: Shopping Online for Coverage Information.”

The LGBT Financial Experience.”

The Impact of Wage Equality on Sexual Orientation Poverty Gaps.”

Injustice at Every Turn,”

LGBTQ Retirement: Looking Back to Look Forward.” 

The Equality Act.”

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