June is National Gay Pride Month

          PBS news first documents LGBT history beginning in Chicago, on December 10th, 1924, as Henry Gerber founded the Society for Human Rights. Not that history did not started before then, per se, but in other parts of the world, or in earlier times society's norms may have favored the death sentence over creating the first, documented gay rights organization that happens to be the oldest in America.

          About 30 years later
the American Psychiatric Association labeled homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance.

          Fifty years after that,
clubs like the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) develop at schools, and national events like the National Day of Silence are created to promote awareness about multiple concerns that affect the LGBT community.
 
            The internet, social media, television, and radio have been a major influences in publicizing any news within seconds, and the ability to reach billions of people at once. Celebrities now more than ever are publicly revealing their status about whom they choose as a sexual partner, but even as little as 10-20 years ago, such honesty was an unlikely option.

             In June, I attended a lecture sponsored by NYU Law School about same sex marriage and LGBT rights, where a few lawyers, and Debra Messing (Grace, from ‘Will and Grace’) were on the panel. Debra Messing provided insight to working on a show that was pivotal to creating awareness, and hopefully acceptance of the LGBT community. She stated, “‘Will and Grace’ even had to be careful about certain boundaries when it aired 15 years ago, and “the characters had to fall in love with Grace before they could love Will- they loved Will because of Grace.”

             Ellen DeGeneres has her hit talk show, Laverne Cox debuted as the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show (Orange is the New Black), and just recently Bruce Jenner transitioned to Caitlyn Jenner, an identity where she reports that she finally feels like herself.
 
             We as society have made leaps and bounds in acceptance, but unfortunately phobias and discrimination continue to exist. How can you help?
  • Refrain from using derogatory terms, and correct others as deemed necessary. 
  • Attend events! Pride parades (NYC= June 28th -http://www.nycpride.org/events), walks, etc. 
  • Charities to donate time and/or resources

                         itgetsbetter.org (positive messages and support for LGBT youth),
                        keshetonline.org (LGBT Jews),
                        20 organizations you need to know -(http://www.diversitybestpractices.com/news-articles/20-lgbt-organizations-you-need-know)

  • Common terms (according to UCLA LGBT resource center):

         ~drag= performance of one or multiple genders theatrically
         ~intersex= combination of chromosomes, gonads, hormones, internal sex organs,
         and/or genitals do not allow a person to be distinctly categorized as male or female
         ~pansexual= sexually attracted to all or many gender expressions
         ~transgender= person who lives as member of gender other than that expected
         based on anatomical sex. Sexual orientation (who you’re attracted to) varies and
         doesn’t depend on gender identity
         ~transsexual= person who identifies psychologically as a gender/sex other than
         assigned at birth. Often wishes to transform bodies hormonally and surgically to
        match inner sense of gender/sex