HRC Observes LGBTQ History Month

Each October, HRC is proud to mark LGBTQ history month.

There have been a lot of landmark moments for the LGBTQ community in the past several years – nationwide marriage equality, an exponential increase in transgender visibility, the election of more pro-LGBTQ public officials than ever before, progress in the fight for global LGBTQ equality, and much more – and while we celebrate these victories, this month also allows us to recognize individuals who knocked down barriers.

People such as Frank Kameny, Bayard Rustin, Sylvia Rivera, Audre Lorde, Bishop Gene Robinson, Jim Obergefell, among others, had such a huge impact on the fight for LGBTQ equality and beyond. We derive strength from these brave individuals who laid the foundation of our movement.

And with only 37 days until Election Day, we also recognize those politicians and elected officials who made history, including:

Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in California

Tammy Baldwin, the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the U.S. Senate

Victoria Kolakowski – first openly transgender judge (elected 2010, Alameda County Superior Court).

Mark Takano – first LGBTQ person of color elected to Congress (elected 2012, California’s 41st district)

We, the LGBTQ and allied community, have our own chance to make history this year by electing the most pro-equality ticket in LGBTQ history.

Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine platform covers a wide array of LGBTQ issues – from their commitment to pass the Equality Act and their endorsement of marriage equality, to their advocacy for LGBTQ youth and their pledge to help end violence against transgender people.

We must support these and other pro-equality candidates so they can build on the progress of the Obama administration. Think of all the progress we’ve made under President Obama’s leadership and what could be rolled back, including: nationwide marriage equality; the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell;” non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ employees of federal contractors, landmark hate crimes legislation; greater visibility for transgender people; support for HIV prevention and affordable treatment; and more.

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