October is Gay History Month, National Coming Out Day

Halloween is not the only gay holiday in October! October is GLBT History Month, October 11 is National Coming Out Day and, for the first time in years, we're having a national gay rights march in DC, the National Equality March on October 10-11. In Alaska, we're celebrating October with the annual Anchorage Pride Conference.

GLBT History Month
Modeled after Black and Women's History Months, GLBT History Month highlights the achievements of 31 gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender icons—one each day—in a 30-second video. The video is updated automatically and posted below.

The 2009 Icons include GLBT artists, scientists, politicians and other leaders like Rachel Maddow, Gus Van Sant, k.d. lang, Alfred Kinsey, Zora Neal Hurston, B. D. Wong and Suze Orman.

National Coming Out Day
October 11 holds a special place in GLBT History Month as National Coming Out Day. Whether you're lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or straight, be proud of who you are and your support for LGBT equality this National Coming Out Day.

The NCOD theme for 2009 is Conversations From the Heart. Watch the conversations on the personal meanings of gay equality, and have your own Conversations From the Heart with your friends and family. A simple conversation can change the lives of people you care about.

The National Equality March
Because of National Coming Out Day, the weekend of October 10-11 was the obvious choice for the National Equality March in DC:

"We are guaranteed equal protection by the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. Free and equal people do not bargain for or prioritize our rights, so we are coming to DC this October 10-11th to demand equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states. Now."

Watch the National Equality March video HERE.

Anchorage Pride Conference & Alaskans Together
What are Alaskans doing to celebrate National Coming Out Day on October 11th?

(1) The March: A group from Juneau is attending the National March for Equality in DC. They invite other Alaskans to join them. Email SEAGLA for more information.

(2) The Pride Conference: Alaskans are coming to Anchorage from all over the state for an expanded 3-day Pride Conference, on October 9-11 in Alaska Pacific University's Atwood Center. The main events:

Friday Oct. 9
7 pm: No-host Dinner Social at Organic Oasis featuring music by EverReady. Please RSVP.

Saturday Oct. 10
8.30 am to 3:30 pm: Anchorage Pride Conference at Alaska Pacific University. The day includes breakfast, lunch, a vendor's court, workshops, plenary and a comedy hypnosis show with Jay Her. Pre-registration: $20 adult, $10 student. At the door: $25 adult, $15 student. The link to the registration form is HERE.

Sunday Oct 11
10:30 am to 12 noon: Brunch and a panel discussion on "Crossing the Generations" at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center. $10 Adult/$7.50 Students and Seniors. Pre-registration required.

The Anchorage Pride Conference is sponsored by Identity, Inc. and APU's Spectrum.

(3) The Alaskans Together Gathering
Alaskans Together for Equality (ATE) is holding their first annual meeting at the GLCCA on Sunday October 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Their goal is to plan the future direction of Alaska's only statewide civil rights group focused on promoting the rights of Alaska's LGBTQ population. This is an open meeting and all are welcome and encouraged to attend.

ATE is providing a limited number of travel scholarships to help people from outside of the Anchorage area be able to participate in the meeting. If you want to apply for a scholarship, please send an email containing your name, contact information, and a brief statement on why you would like to attend the meeting.

On Saturday, the day before the meeting, Alaskans Together will host a social gathering after the Pride Conference at the Kodiak Bar & Grill (225 E. 5th Avenue) from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

(4) Special Offer for the Pride Conference & ATE
The Copper Whale Inn, on L Street in downtown Anchorage, is offering a special lodging rate for anyone attending the Pride Conference and the Alaskans Together annual meeting. The rate is $77 a night (+ tax) and includes breakfast, free wireless access, and beautiful Cook Inlet views. Copper Whale Inn is near the Gay & Lesbian Community Center where the ATE meeting will be held, and about 10 minutes by car to the Pride Conference at Alaska Pacific University. Visit The Copper Whale Inn for more information.

(5) Conversations From the Heart
Like people all over the country, Alaskans will have our own Conversations From the Heart with our friends and family members on National Coming Out Day, October 11.

More National Coming Out Day events are in the works for Anchorage and other parts of Alaska, but they aren't ready to be announced. Check back to Bent Alaska for NCOD updates and other events planned throughout the month. And don't forget those gay-fabulous Halloween parties!

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