October is Queer History Month

Madilyn Sturges, Multimedia Contributor

OSU Pride Center brings awareness to history of the LGBTQ+ community

Queer History Month is a celebration of and for the LGBTQ+ community, created in the early 1990s by teachers at a Missouri high school, who believed there should be a month dedicated to the celebration and teaching of the LGBTQ+ community in all schools across the United States.

The month of October was especially chosen because of the already scheduled National Coming Out Day

Oregon State University stays true to the teachings from the LGBTQ+ by creating a safe space for queer students that were attending the school. Thus the Pride Center was created in the Spring of 2004.

The Pride Center has been putting on events in October for Queer History Month for more than ten years. This year’s events span from keynote speakers and panels to fun activities like the Ace of Parfaits and the crafting project for ‘Glitter in the Archives’, a fun collaging project in the Archives Research Center.

Maggie O’Rourke-Liggett, a junior studying Ocean Science and Fisheries and Wildlife Science, believes Queer History Month gives people the ability to learn about the history of the LGBTQ+ community from the perspective of someone who is actually in it.

“To me, as someone in the LGBTQI community, it means a lot to learn about people, not just in our country, who have made differences over the course of history,” O’Rourke-Liggett said. “A lot of it is just learning new things because most textbooks don’t cover a lot of it because we’re in a heteronormative community.”

Queer History Month has been around for over 20 years but the overall Queer community has been around since before 1969, when the Stonewall Riots happened in New York.

The Stonewall Riots happened in June of 1969 and that gave the LGBTQ+ community a chance to create a more positive atmosphere for its people. After the Stonewall Riots, the community labeled June as the official month for LGBTQ+ pride.

Justine Anaya, another OSU student believes Queer History Month is a lot like Pride month, but with a more historical background.

“Queer History Month is similar to June with Pride events but I feel like it’s more, also with the time of year: fall, like looking into the past,” Anaya said. “And celebrating the past, like the triumphs and also recognizing the hurdles the community also had to go through.”

O’Rourke- Liggett is happy to be going to a school that’s answering the calls for students and building a more inclusive community for everyone. And the best way to make a school more LGBTQ+ friendly and inclusive is to talk about it.

“I think more things we could do is have more conversations about LGBTQI stuff, because I feel like the more we talk about it, the more it normalizes it. So people are more comfortable talking about these things,” O’Rourke-Liggett said.

The idea of the Pride Center came when people of the LGBTQ+ community coming together and voicing their want for a ‘safe space’ to be with likeminded people.

Tara Crockett, one of the Student Leadership Liaison for the Pride Center, wants to educate people more on queer history because it’s not talked about in the dominant school systems.

“I think that Queer History Month is about acknowledging that History, remembering how far we’re come, how far we still need to go, and about celebrating our history,” Crockett said.

Crockett’s goal for the Pride Center’s events for the month is to stand up and fight against the normal and cissexism educational system that is in normal American schools.

“Queer History Month is about providing sort of the counter history to the kind of dominant culture as well as the dominant history that we’re taught in American schools,” Crockett said. “What we’re trying to do here at the Pride Center this year is to highlight and to spotlight more marginalized people in Queer History.”

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