Education Dept. recognizes October as LGBT History Month

It's LGBT History Month! This year, the U.S. Department of Education will recognize October as LGBT History Month, with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaking at the Department's first LGBT History Month event.

UPDATE: At the event, Duncan made a statement on the recent teen suicides due to bullying. Read it HERE.
"For a community deprived of its history, GLBT History Month teaches heritage, provides role models, builds community, and recognizes extraordinary national and international contributions," said Ora Alger, LGBTA Employees at ED President, U.S. Department of Education.

"GLBT History Month is an educational project," stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum. "We are delighted to have the U.S. Department of Education recognize and celebrate our community's history month. We salute GLSEN, GSA Network and Campus Pride for promoting, with Equality Forum, GLBT History Month to over 6,000 high schools and colleges."
Each day in October, a GLBT icon is featured with a video, biography, bibliography, downloadable images and other educational resources. Here's a overview of the 31 inspiring icons chosen by the history month project for 2010:

LGBT History Month began in 1994 when Rodney Wilson, a social studies teacher in Missouri who was appalled at the failure of textbooks to address LGBT issues, organized a grass-roots network of teachers and community leaders toward creating a month of celebration that focused on the contributions of LGBT people. October was chosen because it built on already existing traditions such as National Coming Out Day (October 11) and the anniversaries of the first two LGBT marches on Washington in 1979 and 1987.

Each year in October, growing numbers of educators find ways to bring LGBT history into their curricula and school programming, opening up a dialogue that will hopefully lead to ongoing explorations of LGBT issues and a more integrative approach to exploring LGBT themes throughout the school year.

High school and college groups can also enter the 2010 GLBT History Month Exhibit Contest by creating an exhibit and sending in photos. Prizes are awarded for best high school and college exhibits, including air fare and hotel to Philadelphia for the annual Equality Forum conference.

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