LGBT History Month Educational Displays Up

The 2016 LGBT History Month library display can be see throughout south central Indiana.
The 2016 LGBT History Month library display can be see throughout south central Indiana.

October is LGBT History Month, a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. To further our mission of educating the public about rural lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) people and issues in order to make our community a safer and more welcoming place, Spencer Pride, Inc., annually distributes educational displays that feature information about LGBTQI history. This year’s displays, with the theme of “LGBT People in U.S. Political History” were developed and created by creative and talented volunteers from Prism Youth Community – Bloomington.

The display can be found at a record number of libraries, public schools, and community organizations this year, continuing Spencer Pride’s trend of making each year’s distribution bigger than the last.  Distribution of this year’s displays is a widespread 23 locations–including 13 separate communities, 9 counties, 16 libraries, 3 high schools, & 3 universities.

The 2016 displays can be found at the following locations:

  • Bedford Public Library (Bedford)
  • Bloomington North High School (Bloomington)
  • Bloomington South High School (Bloomington)
  • Bloomfield Eastern Greene County Library (Bloomfield) – poster only; no educational display
  • Brazil Public Library (Brazil)
  • Brown County Public Library (Nashville)
  • DePauw University, Roy O. West Library (Greencastle)
  • Edgewood High School (Ellettsville)
  • Indiana University, GLBT Student Support Services (Bloomington)
  • Indiana University, Herman B. Wells Library (Bloomington)
  • Indiana University, School of Public Health (1025 E. 7th Street, Bloomington)
  • Knox County Public Library (Vincennes)
  • Linton Public Library (Linton)
  • Mitchell Community Public Library (Mitchell)
  • Monroe County History Center (Bloomington)
  • Monroe County Public Library (Bloomington)
  • Monroe County Public Library (Ellettsville)
  • Morgan County Public Library (Martinsville) – NOVEMBER only
  • Owen County Public Library (Spencer)
  • Putnam County Public Library (Greencastle)
  • Spencer Pride community center & Unity retail shop (Spencer)
  • Vincennes University Library (Vincennes)
  • Worthington Jefferson Township Library (Worthington)

We are very appreciative of the volunteers at Prism Youth Community – Bloomington for their outstanding work in creating this year’s displays.  We are also thankful for the many school administrators, librarians, and other professionals who have supported having our displays in their establishments, and commend those who added to our display with books, posters, and other educational materials to encourage further learning and discussion. We hope you will visit some of these locations to learn a bit more about LGBT folks in politics throughout history.

Another “Night at the Tivoli” in Celebration of LGBT History Month

SPI Tivoli Logo 2014SPENCER, INDIANA – The historic Tivoli Theater in downtown Spencer will again be the site of Spencer Pride’s annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender (LGBT) History Month event “A Night at the Tivoli.” The community event, which is admission-free thanks to generous sponsors of Spencer Pride, Inc., is Wednesday, October 12th, at 7:00 PM. The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend.

“We are again privileged to hold our event at the beautiful Tivoli Theater,” says Spencer Pride Inc.’s, President Jonathan Balash.

The main attraction for the evening is always the movie. In honor of this election year, this year’s film is Milk. A 2008 biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The evening also includes a Jeopardy Contest on GLBT people in politics, so study up, check out your local library display, and win a prize! It will be an interesting and fun way for the audience to learn more about our community in political history. Another way to win is to take a chance on our raffle! With fabulous items like an overnight stay at French Lick Resort including breakfast for two, you won’t want to miss it.

Owen Valley Winery will have their tasting room open to lure filmgoers into sampling their wine. The winery’s tasting room is adjacent to the Tivoli and will be open from 5:30PM-10:00 PM. For this event, alcohol can be taken from the winery into the theater. The tasting room will undoubtedly be a popular spot.

Many individuals and businesses are sponsoring “A Night at the Tivoli,” including Greencastle Walmart, White River Valley PFLAG, Insurance Pros, Foxy Mutts Grooming, and many others who have made generous donations to ensure that the event remains admission-free.

In addition to the family-friendly Tivoli event, Spencer Pride, Inc., is coordinating LGBT History Month educational displays in a record-breaking (23) twenty-three libraries, public schools, universities, and other community organizations in Greene, Putnam, Lawrence, Owen, Monroe, Brown, Clay, and Knox counties. This is the seventh year that the organization has offered educational displays to libraries for LGBT History Month, and it is the fourth year that those displays will also appear in area schools and universities. Prism Youth Community-Bloomington aided the development of this year’s displays.

For the first time in our history, we’re able to say that our new retail space, Unity, at 46 E. Market St. on the courthouse square will be open from 5PM to 7PM. Stop in before the event and check out the many items hand made by local artists. It’s not too early to get some holiday shopping in.

For more information about Spencer Pride Inc., please visit other pages on our website or send questions to info@SpencerPride.org. You can also find us on Facebook (SpencerPride) & Twitter (@SpencerPrideInc).

LGBT History Month Educational Displays

Each year, Spencer Pride develops and distributes educational displays that feature information about LGBTQI history.   This year’s displays were developed & created by wonderful volunteers from Prism Youth Community – Bloomington.

The display can be found at a record number of libraries and public schools this year, continuing Spencer Pride’s trend of making each year’s distribution bigger than the last.  Distribution of this year’s displays is widespread in 22 locations, including 12 separate communities, 9 counties, 15 libraries, 3 high schools, & 3 universities.

The 2015 displays feature information about Transgender history and can be found at the following locations:

  • Bloomington North High School (Bloomington)
  • Bloomington South High School (Bloomington)
  • Bloomfield Eastern Greene County Library (Bloomfield) – poster only; no educational display
  • Brown County Public Library (Nashville) – after October 13
  • Clay County Public Library (Brazil)
  • DePauw University, Roy O. West Library (Greencastle)
  • Edgewood High School (Ellettsville)
  • Indiana University, GLBT Student Support Services (Bloomington)
  • Indiana University, Herman B. Wells Library (Bloomington)
  • Indiana University, School of Public Health (two locations: School of Public Health at 1025 E. 7th Street & IU Health Center at 600 N. Jordan Avenue, both in Bloomington)
  • Knox County Library (Vincennes)
  • Lawrence County Library (Bedford)
  • Linton Public Library (Linton)
  • Monroe County History Center (Bloomington)
  • Monroe County Library (Bloomington) – October 17 – November 8
  • Monroe County Library (Ellettsville) – part of October only
  • Morgan County Library (Martinsville) – NOVEMBER only
  • Owen County Library (Spencer)
  • Puntam County Library (Greencastle)
  • Vincennes University Library (Vincennes)
  • Worthington Jefferson Township (Worthington)

We are very appreciative of the volunteers at Prism Youth Community – Bloomington for their great work in creating this year’s displays.  We are also thankful for the many school administrators, librarians, and other professionals who have supported having our displays in their establishments.

Kim’s Corner: LGBT History Month

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October is Gay History Month! It is a time to celebrate the advances made for members of the LGBT community. Many people joined us on Wednesday, October 8th for our annual LGBT History Month event “A Night at the Tivoli.”

You may be wondering why October was chosen as Gay History Month. Gay History or LGBT History Month originated in the United States and was first celebrated in 1994. It was founded by a high-school history teacher named Rodney Wilson from Missouri. Torey Wilson, a Chicago area teacher was also supportive of establishing the history month. Many gay and lesbian organizations supported the concept early on. In 1995, the National Education Association indicated support of LGBT History Month as well as other history months by resolution at its General Assembly. I am particularly proud of the support given by NEA, as I work for the Indiana State Teachers’ Association, which is an affiliate of the NEA.

October was chosen by Wilson as the month for the celebration because National Coming Out Day already was established as a widely known event, on October 11th. In addition, October commemorated the first March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation by LGBT people in 1979. LGBT History Month is intended to encourage honesty and openness about being LGBT.  While it was first known as Lesbian and Gay History Month, the term “bisexual” was added to the title. It has become known as LGBT History Month.

On June 2, 2000, President Bill Clinton declared June 2000 “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month”. President Barack Obama declared June 2009 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month 2009 on June 1, 2009.

Equality Forum is a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus, which undertook responsibility for LGBT Month in 2006. Each day in October, an Icon is featured with a video, biography, bibliography, downloadable images and other educational resources at www.lgbthistorymonth.com.

In 2011, Equality Forum introduced an internal search engine for all Icons from 2006 to the present. By clicking on “Icon Search” and choosing one of hundreds of categories such as African-American, athlete, California, Germany, HIV/AIDS, Military, Religion, Transgender, Youth; visitors to the site will be provided with links to all Icons in that category. Please take the time to research these brave and inspiring people.

In 2012, for the first time, two American school districts celebrated LGBT History Month; the Broward County school district in Florida signed a resolution in September in support of LGBT Americans, and later that year the Los Angeles school district, America’s second-largest, also signed on to support the cause.

One more piece of historical interest is why the rainbow flag has become the symbol of gay pride. The rainbow flag became a symbol of gay pride and diversity due to Gilbert Baker, an artist from San Francisco, in 1978. This rainbow version of the flag is also sometimes called ‘the freedom flag’. The different colors symbolize diversity in the LGBT community, and the flag is used often at gay pride events worldwide in various forms including banners, clothing and jewelry. For the 25th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots, held in 1994 in New York City, a mile-long rainbow flag was created. After the parade, it was cut up in sections that have since been used around the world.

The flag was originally created with eight colors, but pink and turquoise were removed for production purposes, and since 1979 it has consisted of six colored stripes. It is most commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colors appear in a natural rainbow.  Aside from the obvious symbolism of a mixed LGBT community, the colors were designed to symbolize: life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), harmony (blue), and spirit (purple/volet). The removed colors stood for sexuality (pink) and art/magic (turquoise).