Cavemen scratched their hunts into walls, Egyptians lined their tombs in hieroglyphs, the Ancient Greeks commemorated important figures in beautiful sculptures. Cataloguing our existence for future generations is part of what defines our humanity — to inspire, to teach, to warn, to be remembered. History matters.
Nowhere is that sentiment more important than in the LGBT community. As we face ever more insidious challenges — religious bigotry, veiled discrimination, the onslaught of extremism — it’s important to reflect on those who helped transform our lives from an intolerable past to a more palatable present. Every Pride parade, every Scruff message, every time a person is chastised for not addressing Caitlyn Jenner with the proper pronoun — all are advances brought by the trials and tribulations of the heroes of our past.
That’s what LGBT History Month is for. Throughout October, we celebrate those who worked so hard to ensure a gay child, a transgender teen or a lesbian grandmother today can feel that little bit more secure in themselves. Courtesy of Philadelphia Gay News and LGBT publications from across the nation, we present a series of articles acknowledging forgotten heroes, incredible progress and inspiring leaders. It’s our history, after all. It’s our duty to learn it.
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