LGBT History Month

October 14, 2021

October is National LGBT History Month. Let’s shine a light on some people who brought awareness to it.

Photo of Rodney Wilson“The greatest act of advocacy for civil rights for LGBT Americans is the act of coming out,” wrote Rodney Wilson who established Gay History Month in 1994. “LGBT history gave me self-confidence as a gay person and strengthened my resolve to live, as best I could, an honest, open and integrated life.”  

In 1994, while teaching history at Mehlville High School in suburban St. Louis, Wilson came out to his class during a lesson about the Holocaust. He told his class if he had lived in Germany during World War II, he probably would have been imprisoned and killed by the Nazis for being gay. He became the first openly gay K-12 teacher in Missouri. What started with a lesson evolved into a broader mission to teach young people about gay history. Inspired by Women’s History Month and Black History Month, he worked with national organizations to develop a gay-friendly curriculum for educators. Today Wilson holds a master's degree from the Harvard Extension School as well as the University of Missouri-St. Louis. 

Read more about the People Behind the Movement from the Countway Library. 
... Read more about LGBT History Month