Celebrating LGBTQ History Month

Remembering the milestones, events and people.

Minerva Theresa, Features Editor

October is LGBTQ History Month! First celebrated in 1944, the month honors the contributions and successes of the gay community in pushing for civil rights. Below are monumental milestones, tragedies and people who have forever changed the community.


The Stonewall Riots (1969)

On the night of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn of New York, arresting several gay patrons for their solicitation of homosexual behavior and failure to wear at least three articles of gender-appropriate clothing.

The raid symbolized the irrational harassment by police towards the LGBTQ community, sparking the movement for gay rights, transgender rights and organizations such as today’s Human Rights Campaign.

Pride Month, which is June, honors the community’s efforts during the riots.


Johnson’s Legacy (1945-1992)

Marsha P. Johnson was an African-American transgender woman who was known for her successful career as a drag queen and a leader of the Stonewall Riots.

Before her drag or activist career, Johnson was homeless on the streets of New York. She relied on prostitution for her income, despite the considerable danger posed to her as a trans woman of color.

As the riots shifted under the leadership of white cisgender gay men, Johnson brought the colored transgender community under her self-established activist group, the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR). The group aided homeless transgender youth in several countries.


West Hollywood’s Gay Culture

When visitors come to West Hollywood, they’ll be greeted by a relaxed community as they stroll through gay-friendly neighborhood sandwiched by Santa Monica Blvd. and the Sunset Strip.

How did this city come to symbolize LGBTQ culture? Well, West Hollywood and the rest of LA County evaded the severity of police arrests during the Prohibition era, when police would raid speakeasies to search for unlawful practices.

Nearing the beginnings of the Stonewall Riots, West Hollywood grew as a visibly gay community as well as a haven for those to escape


Same-Sex Marriage is Legalized (June 26, 2015)

The United States was the 22nd country to legalize same-sex marriage. The civil rights case Obergefell v. Hodges ruled that same-sex couples could receive equal marriage rights and benefits under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Americans of all generations stood at the steps of the US Supreme Court to celebrate the community’s victory.


Orlando Nightclub Shooting (June 12, 2016)

PULSE Nightclub was a popular spot for gay nightlife and the drag scene in Orlando, Fla. Many were partying inside the nightclub when Omar Mateen killed 49 people using semi-automatic weapons.

Not only did the aftermath of the massacre raise cries for justice for the LGBTQ community, but the shooting also stirred up concerns in the gay community over the prevalent issue of terrorism and gun control.

Nightclub owner Barbara Poma is funding to turn the former nightclub into a memorial site by 2020.