Queerly Beloved: Gem Sheps

T_DSC4416he month of October is upon us, which means we can now look forward to pumpkins, scary movies, and LGBTQ+ pride.

October is national LGBTQ+ History Month in America, created to bring awareness to LGBTQ+ people and our achievements. To kickoff the month’s celebrations, I’m going to provide you all with a rundown of LGBTQ+ history and fun facts.

Possibly the most famous events in LGBTQ+ history are the Stonewall Riots, which are considered the true beginning of gay liberation. They took place in the 1960s in Greenwich Village, New York. The riots were led predominantly by black trans women—one of the most marginalized groups in the LGBTQ+ community—following the police raids of the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay club.

The empowerment of standing up to long-standing oppression eventually led LGBTQ+ people to create the Gay Liberation Front, which had the timeless slogan, “Do You Think Homosexuals Are Revolting? You Bet Your Sweet Ass We Are!”

Since those events, various liberation movements have arisen, eventually culminating in the national recognition of same-gender marriage.

Many non-LGBTQ+ people believe that this is where the liberation front ends, but that’s far from the truth. While gay and lesbian individuals can now legally marry and adopt children in all states, only one state has banned the “gay panic defence” with regards to the murders of transgender people.

Though we have many strides to make, we can still celebrate some of our achievements, such as the sudden surge of celebrities coming out in media. The evolution of society has created an environment in which people can be out and proud without it ending their careers; Ellen Page, Neil Patrick Harris, and Zachary Quinto are all proudly out as gay, Angelina Jolie and Drew Barrymore are openly bisexual, and transgender actress Laverne Cox is rising above her station at the speed of light.

Some of your historical faves are queer, too: Alan Turing, the creator of the computer, was gay and incarcerated for sodomy. Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was bisexual.

This month, remember that being LGBTQ+ can make life difficult or scary, but that we are just as successful and influential as any of our straight or cisgender counterparts.

Gem Sheps
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