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.
There won’t be as many athletes marching behind the Team Atlanta banner when Gay Games VIII opens in Cologne, Germany, but participants say the spirit of camaraderie and competition remains strong.
Some 160 athletes from Atlanta participated in the last Gay Games, held in Chicago in 2006. Thanks in large part to the longer distance — and therefore increased costs and vacation time requirements — only about 30 will make the trek to Germany for this year’s Games, which get underway July 31 and run through Aug. 7.