CMU celebrates LGBTQ History Month

In 1994, Rodney Wilson, a high school history teacher from Missouri marked October as LGBT History Month.

He chose October to compliment National Coming Out Day, which is Oct. 11 and is also National Coming Out Week. October also hosted the first LGBT, or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, march through Washington in 1979. By 1995, the infant holiday was nationally recognized, and had the attention of the National Education Association.

Today, many know the celebration as a newer variation: LGBTQ History Month. This includes the letter “Q” to include queer, or those questioning their sexual identity.

Central Michigan University’s LGBTQ Services give students a chance to participate in campus programs dedicated to the month’s festivities. The office schedules classroom panels, support services, volunteer opportunities and EPIC, which stands for equality, pride, impact and change, program meetings.

This month CMU has hosted LGBTQ activities such as Drag Queen Bingo, Soup and Substance: Two Spirits Panel Presentation and a lecture by keynote speaker Chaz Bono, the only child of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher Bono. Chaz shared his struggles and triumphs of being transgender.

In addition to hosting these events, LGBTQ Services offers regular support and guidance for students such as counseling, news and free issues of BTL, or Between the Lines.

BTL, founded in 1993, is Michigan’s premier LGBTQ weekly publication. The latest issue focuses on the upcoming November election, along with an in-depth evaluation of those candidates’ stances on LGBTQ equality.

In the wake of recent suicides linked to bullying over sexual orientation, President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have spoken to the LGBTQ community. The “It Gets Better Project,” a viral video project started by columnist Dan Savage, has collected the footage of famous and not-so-famous LGBTQ supporters.

“What I want to say is this: You are not alone. You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t do anything to deserve being bullied, and there is a whole world waiting for you filled with possibilities,” President Obama said.

Hilary Clinton mirrored Obama’s positive attitude. Her video was received with mixed feelings from the LGBTQ community.

According to, two out of three Americans believe that LGBTQ suicides are indirectly caused by anti-gay speech from both religious and political leaders. LGBTQ events are working hard to close the gap between students of all sexual identities and end the discrimination of all people.

In order to stay connected to October’s celebrations, check with the LGBTQ Services office in the basement of the Bovee University Center.