Sep 27, 2012
By Chealsia Smedley
October marks the national LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) History Month and Ohio University's LGBT Center is bustling with a full month of events.
The Center has paired up with student organization Open Doors, to bring speakers to host discussions on LGBT issues.
LGBT History Month was created in 1994 when Missouri high school teacher Rodney Wilson organized a network of teachers and community members to celebrate the contributions of LGBT people. His idea sparked LGBT History Month, which now serves to celebrate LGBT contributions to history. LGBT History Month is supported by GLADD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation), the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Equality Forum.
"LGBT History Month is an important time for the community to reflect upon our past struggles and triumphs both locally and globally, and re-energize our efforts for equality as we move into the future," said Ohio University LGBT Program Coordinator Virginia Martin.
This October, the LGBT center and Open Doors is bringing Robyn Ochs to campus. She is a bisexual speaker, educator, and award winning activist in the LGBT community.
"We're really excited about Robyn Ochs coming, she's a big deal," said Martin. "She travels all over the country doing speaking engagements, so she's very engaging, very personable, and has a lot of great information and a lot of great historical knowledge."
Ochs will be leading a total of six discussions between Oct. 15 and Oct. 19, with titles such as "Challenging Biphobia: What You Can Do," "Girlfriend's Guide to Activism," and her keynote talk titled, "Beyond Binaries: Identity and the Sexuality Spectrum."
The LGBT center will also host historian Mark Stein, who will give a talk titled, "Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement."
The LGBT History Month celebration will also include social events such as:
"All of our events are open to all students, staff, and faculty and we really welcome allies. Allies are really important to this movement and are going to be the ones integral to changing things." said Martin. "I also really want LGBT folks, who are maybe not heavily involved in the community, to come out and maybe see some stuff, get involved, begin friendships and network."