February marks the first annual LGBTQ+ History Month. This is all about celebrating and sharing inspirational stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history. It is a great reminder to the world of those influential LGBTQ+ members that should never be forgotten.
Here are three inspiring people whose voices we want to share with you this month, both past and present.
- Throughout history, there have been numerous notable and influential LGBTQ figures.
- Activists like Marsha P. Johnson, Larry Kramer, and Billie Jean King helped fight for LGBTQ rights in the 1980s.
- Today, Lena Waithe, RuPaul, Janet Mock, and Anderson Cooper are notable figures in the community.
Gilbert Baker created the gay pride flag.
In 1978, Harvey Milk asked his friend Gilbert Baker to make a symbol that would represent gay pride. Using the US flag as inspiration, Baker hand-sewed a rainbow flag. He said each color on the flag represented something that was important to the community. For example, the hot pink was for sex, and the red was for life. The rainbow pride flag was first flown in San Francisco on June 25, 1978, for Gay Pride Day.
Christine Jorgensen was one of the first people to come out as transgender.
Christine Jorgensen, who was named George Jorgensen at birth, grew up in the Bronx, New York, and lived a quiet life. But Jorgensen said she felt like a woman stuck in a man's body. When she read about a doctor who was carrying out gender therapy in Copenhagen, she jumped at the chance to go.
After hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery in Europe, Jorgensen returned to the US in the 1950s as Christine. Overnight, she became a celebrity, as the media and the general public were fascinated with her physical transformation.
RuPaul is a drag queen who has brought the niche art of drag into the mainstream.
RuPaul started in the '90s as part of the music industry, realising his single 'supermodel." He also appeared in a number of films as his drag persona, In 2009, he started the drag queen competition we all know and love titled "RuPaul's Drag Race," and it has become a big hit among the LGBTQ community. The series has gained great momentum and has become a major hit for mainstream audiences.