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LGBTQIA+ History Month

LGBTQIA+ History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. LGBTQIA+ History Month provides role models, builds community, and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBT community. Currently, LGBTQIA+ History Month is a month-long celebration that is specific to the United States and the United Kingdom. In the United States, it is celebrated in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11.In the United Kingdom, it is observed during February, to coincide with a major celebration of the 2003 abolition of Section 28.

LGBTQIA+ History Month originated in the United States and was first celebrated in 1994. It was founded by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson. Wilson originated the idea, served as founder on the first coordinating committee, and chose October as the month of celebration. October was chosen by Wilson as the month for the celebration because National Coming Out Day already was established as a widely known event, on October 11, the date of the Second March of Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights., In 1987, October also commemorated the first March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation by LGBT people in 1979. LGBTQIA+ History Month is intended to encourage honesty and openness about being LGBTQIA+.​ Read more


Famous People in LGBTQIA+ History

Sylvia Rivera

Sylvia Rivera

Sylvia Rivera achieved legendary status in the LGBT community as one of the "street queens" who fought in the riot at the Stonewall Inn that helped launch the modern gay and transgender liberation movements. Full Bio

Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson, one of the most prominent figures in the 1969 Stonewall Riots, was a popular figure in New York City's gay and art scene, modeled for Andy Warhol, and was known as "the Mayor of Christopher Street" in Greenwich Village. Full Bio

Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk was an American politician and the first openly gay elected official in the history of California where he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Milk was assassinated by another member of the Board. Full Bio

Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin, a leader in social movements for civil rights, & socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights, was the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. Full Bio

Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon

Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon

In 1955 Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon and were part of a small group of women in San Francisco who started the first known national lesbian organization in the United States, the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB). Full Bio

Pauline Park

Pauline Park

Pauline Park co-founded the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy and helped get inclusion of gender identity and expression into safe schools laws in New York State. Full Bio

Jose Sarria

José Sarria

José Sarria, a native of San Francisco and a U.S. Army veteran, is thought to be the first openly gay person in the United States to campaign for public office. Full Bio

Audre Lourde

Audre Lourde

Audre Lourd was a self-described "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet," who dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. Full Bio

Pedro Zamora

Pedro Zamora

Pedro Zamora was a Cuban-American AIDS educator. As one of the first openly gay men with AIDS to be portrayed in popular media (MTV's The Real World) he brought international attention to HIV/AIDS and LGBT issues & prejudices. Full Bio


LGBTQIA+ History Books @ MiraCosta Library

LGBTQ in the 21st Century
A Queer History of the United States
David Bowie Made Me Gay
Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation
Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked The Gay Revolution
Queer South Rising: Voices of a Contested Place
Hear Us Out! Lesbian and Gay Stories of Struggle, Progress and Hope, 1950 to the Present
Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity

LGBTQIA+ History Films @ MiraCosta Library

Stonewall Uprising

Stonewall Uprising

In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. Such raids were not unusual in the late 1960s, an era when homosexual sex was illegal in every state but Illinois. That night, however, the street erupted into violent protests and demonstrations that lasted for the next six days.

The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.

No Secret Anymore: Founders of the Modern Lesbian Civil Rights Movement

No Secret Anymore: Founders of the Modern Lesbian Civil Rights Movement

Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were partners in love and political struggle for over fifty years. With incisive interviews, rare archival images and warmhearted humor, No Secret Anymore reveals their inspiring public work, as well as their charming private relationship. It is a delightful way to meet these legendary lesbians, known as the founders of the modern lesbian civil rights movement. When they courageously launched the Daughters of Bilitis in 1955, it became the first public organization for lesbians in America. This documentary follows Martin and Lyon's story through half a century, tracing the emergence of lesbians from the fear of discovery to an expectation of equality.

Brother Outsider: The Life of Freedom Fighter Bayard Rustin

Brother Outsider: The Life of Freedom Fighter Bayard Rustin

On November 20, 2013, Bayard Rustin was posthumously awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Rustin was there at most of the important events of the Civil Rights Movement - but always in the background. BROTHER OUTSIDER asks "Why?" One of the first "freedom riders," an adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and A. Philip Randolph, organizer of the march on Washington, intelligent, gregarious and charismatic, Bayard Rustin was denied his place in the limelight for one reason - he was gay. This film contributes a fascinating new chapter to our understanding of both progressive movements and gay life in 20th-century America.

Homo Promo Cover

Homo Promo: Vintage LGBT Movie Trailers

This spectacular showcase of vintage movie trailers offers a crash course in lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) movie history and a colorful look at nearly every major mainstream queer-themed film produced between 1953 and 1977! Archivist Jenni Olson is one of the world's leading experts on LGBT film history -- curated from her private collection of rare original 35mm coming attractions trailers, Homo Promo has entertained audiences at LGBT film festivals around the world offering a campy cavalcade of coming attractions.

Lavender Limelight: Spotlight on Lesbian Filmmakers

Lavender Limelight: Spotlight on Lesbian Filmmakers

From Go Fish to Paris is Burning to The Watermelon Woman, this festival favorite goes behind the scenes to reveal seven successful lesbian directors. These talented movie-makers enlighten and entertain as they explore their sexual identity, growing up gay, inspirations and techniques, Hollywood vs. Indie, and of course, love and sex, onscreen and off. The conversations are intimate, the topics unlimited, and the clips from their work enthralling! Featuring Cheryl Dunye, Rose Troche, Jennie Livingston, Monika Treut, Maria Maggenti, Su Friedrich and Heather MacDonald.

Vito Film

Vito

On June 27, 1969, a police raid on a Greenwich Village gay bar took a surprising turn when patrons decided it was time to fight back. Vito Russo, a 23-year-old film student, was among the crowd. Over the next twenty years until his death from AIDS in 1990, Vito would go on to become one of the most outspoken and inspiring activists in the LGBT community's fight for equal rights. In the midst of his involvement with Act Up and the fight against AIDS, Vito was also a prolific writer. His seminal book The Celluloid Closet explored the ways in which gays and lesbians were portrayed on film, what lessons those characters taught gay and straight audiences, and how those negative images were at the root of society's homophobia.

The Times of Harvey Milk

The Times of Harvey Milk

A true twentieth-century trailblazer, Harvey Milk was an outspoken human rights activist and one of the first openly gay U.S. politicians elected to public office; even after his assassination in 1978, he continues to inspire disenfranchised people around the world.

The Academy Award-winning THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK, directed by Robert Epstein and produced by Richard Schmiechen, was as groundbreaking as its subject. One of the first feature documentaries to address gay life in America, it's a work of advocacy itself, bringing Milk's message of hope and equality to a wider audience.

Coming Out: A 50 Year History The History of the Public Gay Identity

Coming Out: A 50 Year History The History of the Public Gay Identity

Transgender teen, Jazz Jennings, narrates this documentary where young people interview a host of LGBTQ elders who came out in different historical eras from the 1950s through today. These inspiring talks give insight into the political and personal changes that shaped the modern LGBTQ movement. The young interviewers get an opportunity to compare and contrast their "coming out" experience with people who came out during McCarthy, Civil Rights, post-Stonewall, and AIDS eras. Subjects include a ROTC student who was outed and dismissed during the height of the McCarthy era; a transgender activist who led one of the first anti-police riots; an ACT-UP activist; a man who changed views of people with AIDS in the Black churches of the South; and a young lesbian whose worldview was forever changed at the first national march on Washington DC in 1987.