Article adapted from HRC.org
History helps us understand where we are and where we're going. History doesn't just repeat itself, as the cliché suggests. Instead, it informs our present and affects our future as a community.
Our stories matter. Many members of the LGBT community still struggle to have our voices heard and our experiences valued, and the historical silences surrounding our identities don't exactly help that struggle. Historical accounts that include LGBT people, whether we're talking about middle school textbooks, college lectures or historical movies or documentaries, make our lives and experiences visible. In turn, that allows potential allies to understand our ongoing struggle for equality.
History gives LGBTQ youth (and adults) heroes and role models. Everyone deserves to grow up seeing successful people who resemble them and to whom they can relate--whether that's people who share the same race or gender, or families who look like the ones they might one day want to be a part of. While far too many LGBTQ youth still feel isolated and alone in their families and communities, learning history in a way that includes people who look, live and love like them can give them inspiration and hope for a brighter future. For LGBT adults, LGBT historical figures validate our identities and help us remember that no matter what challenges we still face and what messages we receive from anti-LGBT people, we have always been and always will be important and valuable members of society. Each day this month, LGBT History Month will feature a new LGBT Icon with a video, bio, bibliography, downloadable images and other resources. Learn more at www.lgbthistorymonth.com.