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.

Just Posted

Victoria property company plans to replace Saanich apartments with townhouses

Abstract Developments plans 26 townhouses for Gorge Road West

Camosun student starts bursary program for low-income students

The Jor-Dawn Smith Bursary will go to one Greater Victoria graduate in spring 2020

Curtain closes on Sidney’s Star Cinema location

The iconic theatre will move to a temporary location after its last showing Sunday

Semi truck impounded after driver avoids weight scales in Saanich

Driver issued 90-day roadside driving prohibition

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read