October is LGBT History Month

Canada has a lot to be proud of, but still a long way to go

In 1994, a St. Louis high school history teacher named Rodney Wilson made a suggestion – LGBT history should have a dedicated month. It is said that Wilson chose October, to coincide with National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11 and so now, 24 years later LGBT History Month is celebrated as the leaves start to fall and the temperatures begin to cool.

RELATED: SOGI 123 protesters clash at B.C. legislature

That same year, in Ontario, the government proposed legislation extending benefits to partners in same-sex relationships, and the rights and freedoms of LGBT people have continued to improve dramatically in the two decades since.

But it took until 2005 for Canada to legally allow LGBTQ people to marry and not until 2017 was the Canadian Human Rights Act updated to include gender identity and gender expression as grounds for protection.

When the Winter Olympics descended upon Vancouver in 2010, the first-ever Pride House was part of the festivities in Whistler.

RELATED: Rainbow crosswalk, safer places for LGBTQ people in Sidney

And right here in Victoria in 2016, a $2 million donation from philanthropist Jennifer Pritzker shaped the foundation of what is now the world’s first academic chair of transgender studies at the University of Victoria.

Still, from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, small communities face vandalized rainbow sidewalks, debates on banning conversion therapy are still being had and queer people of colour continue to face disproportionate numbers of discrimination, homelessness and suicide.

Perhaps it’s a good thing there is an entire month dedicated to learning a little more about what it means to be LGBT – how far we’ve come, and how far we have left to go.


@kristyn_anthony
kristyn.anthony@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Red Cross gets a boost from B.C. Liquor Stores

Total donations in BC were close to $160,000

Robbery suspects ram Sooke police car while fleeing officers

Police searching for cube van and suspects

Vancouver Island homeowners buy more earthquake insurance than the rest of B.C.

Insurance Bureau of Canada says that’s because the perception of risk is greater on the Island

Missing 72-year-old man last seen in Langford

Albert Bedard has been missing since Oct. 12

District of Oak Bay issues notice to cease tent city

The notice is effective immediately

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read