October is LGBT History Month. The month of observance was first organized in 1994 by high school teacher Rodney Wilson to coincide with National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11) and was meant to highlight the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights movement.
In 2006, the Equality Forum began promoting the annual commemoration by featuring a different LGBT icon each day.
“This is the 7th anniversary of LGBT History Month. There are a total of 217 Icons that inspire pride in our heroes and our impressive national and international accomplishments,” said Malcolm Lazin, Equality Forum executive director, in a statement.
“It took me a while, but tonight I’m here and I want to say that I want to add my voice to yours. And I’m so happy to be part of this community.”
— Pop singer Ricky Martin, who recently came out after years of speculation, in remarks as the surprise opening speaker at the national Human Rights Campaign dinner. (Advocate.com, Oct. 10)
“I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t.”
— Carl Paladino, Republican nominee for governor of New York, in an Oct. 9 campaign speech to Jewish constituents. (Politico.com, Oct. 10)