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A graphic that says "LGBTQ History Month"

LGBTQ History Month is an annual observance that celebrates and recognizes the history, achievements, and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals and communities. It is observed in various countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, typically during the month of October. We asked Melissa Saunders, MAEd., MS, a school counselor and AUSD's LGBTQ Liaison, to write about this observance. 
"The roots of LGBTQ History Month can be traced back to the early LGBTQ rights movement in the United States. This movement gained momentum following the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, which marked a turning point in the struggle for LGBTQ rights. 
In 1994 a high school teacher named Rodney Wilson established the very first LGBTQ Hostory Month. He was inspired by the "Women's History Month'' model and saw the need to raise awareness about LGBTQ history, which was often overlooked or ignored in mainstream educational curricula. LGBTQ+ individuals have made significant contributions to various fields, including science, literature, art, and activism. These contributions have often been overlooked or marginalized in traditional curricula. Recognizing these achievements helps provide a more accurate and complete picture of history and society.
LGBTQ History Month is important for many reasons. It serves as a platform to educate people about the history and struggles of LGBTQ individuals and communities. It helps dispel stereotypes and fosters understanding. It provides an opportunity to highlight the diverse achievements of LGBTQ individuals in various fields and showcases positive role models for LGBTQ youth, and fosters a sense of community and solidarity within the LGBTQ community and their allies, helping to promote acceptance and inclusion.
Research shows that LGBTQ students who attend schools with curriculum that is inclusive of LGBTQ people, history, and events experience a better school climate, improved mental health and academic outcomes. Curriculum serves as a mirror when it reflects individuals and their experiences back to themselves. At the same time, curriculum serves as a window when it introduces and provides the opportunity to understand the experiences and perspectives of those who possess different identities. An inclusive curriculum includes diverse windows and mirrors for every student.
“When someone with the authority of a teacher
describes the world and you are not in it, there
is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you
looked into a mirror and saw nothing.”
-Adrienne Rich
Throughout history, LGBTQ individuals have made significant contributions to various fields, including:
Alan Turing (1912-1954): A pioneering computer scientist and mathematician, Turing is known for his work on breaking the Enigma code during World War II. His contributions to computer science laid the foundation for modern computing.
Marsha P. Johnson (1945-1992): A transgender activist and prominent figure in the early LGBTQ rights movement, Johnson was a key participant in the Stonewall riots and co-founded the Gay Liberation Front.
Bayard Rustin (1912-1987): A civil rights activist and organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Rustin was openly gay and made significant contributions to the civil rights movement.
Audre Lorde (1934-1992): A poet, essayist, and feminist, Lorde's work addressed issues of race, gender, and sexuality. She was a prominent voice in intersectional feminism.
Harvey Milk (1930-1978): The first openly gay elected official in California, Milk served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and was an advocate for LGBTQ rights before his assassination in 1978.
Some helpful links to learn more: