October is LGBT History Month

Canada has a lot to be proud of, but still a long way to go

In 1994, a St. Louis high school history teacher named Rodney Wilson made a suggestion – LGBT history should have a dedicated month. It is said that Wilson chose October, to coincide with National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11 and so now, 24 years later LGBT History Month is celebrated as the leaves start to fall and the temperatures begin to cool.

RELATED: SOGI 123 protesters clash at B.C. legislature

That same year, in Ontario, the government proposed legislation extending benefits to partners in same-sex relationships, and the rights and freedoms of LGBT people have continued to improve dramatically in the two decades since.

But it took until 2005 for Canada to legally allow LGBTQ people to marry and not until 2017 was the Canadian Human Rights Act updated to include gender identity and gender expression as grounds for protection.

When the Winter Olympics descended upon Vancouver in 2010, the first-ever Pride House was part of the festivities in Whistler.

RELATED: Rainbow crosswalk, safer places for LGBTQ people in Sidney

And right here in Victoria in 2016, a $2 million donation from philanthropist Jennifer Pritzker shaped the foundation of what is now the world’s first academic chair of transgender studies at the University of Victoria.

Still, from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, small communities face vandalized rainbow sidewalks, debates on banning conversion therapy are still being had and queer people of colour continue to face disproportionate numbers of discrimination, homelessness and suicide.

Perhaps it’s a good thing there is an entire month dedicated to learning a little more about what it means to be LGBT – how far we’ve come, and how far we have left to go.


@kristyn_anthony
kristyn.anthony@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Saanich police search for potential victims, witnesses after series of unprovoked assaults

Police are looking for more information about two incidents from June 12

Crews respond to medical incident on West Saanich Road

Incident appears to be cleared, witnesses say

Newly appointed Resilient Saanich committee to weigh in on new environmental policy framework

Council selects nine members, First Nations representative position remains open

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Most Read