Friday, June 21, 2024

What’s on for LGBTQ+ History Month

October is celebrated nationwide as LGBTQ+ History Month and the LGBTQ History Museum is delighted to be presenting a suite of public programs that include film screenings and panel discussions.

Both in-person and virtual, the events focus on topics ranging from the boundary-breaking film Cockettes, to the history-making 1987 March on Washington, and an in-person panel discussing queering the narrative of witchcraft in collaboration with New-York Historical Society.

About LGBTQ+ History Month

In 1994, Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history, and gathered other teachers and community leaders. They selected October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), occur that month. The LGBTQ+ community is the only community worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools or in religious institutions. LGBTQ+ History Month provides role models, builds community and makes the civil rights statement about our extraordinary national and international contributions.

Editor’s Pick: Marching Mad – The 1987 March on Washington

As rightwing politicians attacked LGBTQ+ people and the AIDS epidemic raged, in 1987 half-a-million queer people and their allies gathered in Washington to demand their full civil rights and immediate action to address the AIDS crisis. Around the United States, LGBTQ+ people gathered in local communities to plan for the march, building organizations that drove the movement in the years ahead. The 1987 March on Washington was a landmark event in the history of LGBTQ+ civil rights. It was an immense, galvanizing protest march that helped shape our political destiny.

On October 11, 2022, a panel of movement activists will discuss the march, their roles in organizing it, and its impact. The program will include an optional screening of Joan E. Biren’s 1990 documentary on the 1987 march, which participants may watch at any time during the month of October.

The following questions and themes will be discussed:

1. What? What was the event? How did it feel? What did it look like? In what ways was it different from every other day?

2. Why? Why did 500,000 people gather at this moment in history for a national march? Why so soon after the 1979 march?

3. How? Against a raging epidemic and great political hostility, how did activists plan for the march and draw so many people from all over the country to Washington?

4. Impact? What did participants learn from the march that informed their activism at home? How did the march influence the growth of the LGBTQ+ movement? What was the response from the public?


Ann Northrop: co-host of “Gay USA” cable news show. Attended the 1979, 1987, and 1993 National Marches


• Leti Gomez: attended the 1987 National March

• Joyce Hunter: organizer of the 1970 march and attended the 1987 National March

• Steve Ault: co-coordinator of the 1979 National March and co-chair for the 1987 National March

Optional Film Viewing:

In addition to the panel discussion, the museum has organized a rare virtual screening of JEB’s 1990 documentary on the 1987 march: “For Love and for Life: The 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.” Registrants for the event will receive a link to view the documentary on their own schedule, at any time in the month of October.

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Queer Forty Staff

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