October is LGBT History Month.  The observance was established in 1994 by Missouri high school teacher Rodney Wilson as a time to celebrate and teach gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history, and to encourage discussions about the LGBT leaders that continue to move the community toward equality.  October was selected due to the presence of Coming Out Day (October 11) and the fact that public schools are in session.

Each October, LGBT History Month celebrates the contributions and achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender icons by highlighting a different icon each day, for a total of 31 honorees each year.  Biographies for 2021’s icons will be released on LGBT History Month’s website beginning on October 1, but the list of names is available to view now.

In honor of LGBT History Month, check out just a few of the items in MacPhaidin Library’s collection (descriptions provided by the publisher):

  • The Path to Gay Rights: How Activism and Coming Out Changed Public Opinion, by Jeremiah J. Garretson
    “An innovative, data-driven explanation of how public opinion shifted on LGBTQ rights, The Path to Gay Rights is the first social science analysis of how and why the LGBTQ movement achieved its most unexpected victory - transforming gay people from a despised group into a minority worthy of rights and protections in the eyes of most Americans. The book weaves together a narrative of LGBTQ history with new findings from the field of political psychology to provide an understanding of how social movements affect mass attitudes in the United States and globally.”
  • The Gay Revolution : The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman
    “The Gay Revolution begins in the 1950s, when gays and lesbians were criminals, psychiatrists saw them as mentally ill, churches saw them as sinners, and society victimized them with hatred. Against this dark backdrop, a few brave people began to fight back, paving the way for the revolutionary changes of the 1960s and beyond. Faderman discusses the protests in the 1960s; the counter reaction of the 1970s and early eighties; the decimated but united community during the AIDS epidemic; and the current hurdles for the right to marriage equality.”
  • A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski
    "A Queer History of the United States looks at how American culture has shaped the LGBT, or queer, experience, while simultaneously arguing that LGBT people not only shaped but were pivotal in creating our country. Using numerous primary documents and literature, as well as social histories, Bronski's book takes the reader through the centuries--from Columbus' arrival and the brutal treatment the Native peoples received, through the American Revolution's radical challenging of sex and gender roles--to the violent, and liberating, 19th century--and the transformative social justice movements of the 20th.  More than anything, A Queer History of the United States is not so much about queer history as it is about all American history--and why it should matter to both LGBT people and heterosexuals alike."