Richland Student Media

The Student News Site of Dallas College - Richland


Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media


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Richland Chronicle 5/07/24
Richland Chronicle 5/07/24

National LGBTQ+ History Month

From closet to courage
Photo/Associated Press
A pride parade in Poland earlier this year.

In 1994, a gay high school teacher from Missouri, Rodney Wilson, initiated what would become the yearly recognition each October of LGBTQ+ History Month.
He said, “Wilson’s vision was clear. He believed in the importance of dedicating a month to the celebration and acknowledgment of the experiences of the gay and lesbian communities. It’s worth noting that the term “gay” has a storied history, with roots dating back to the 14th century. Over time, it has evolved to carry connotations of immorality, particularly in the 17th century, when it began to signify being “addicted to pleasures and dissipations.
“This extension of meaning is a far cry from its original connotation of “carefree” and “uninhibited by moral constraints.” A “gay woman” was once associated with prostitution, a “gay man” with womanizing, and a “gay house with a brothel,” according to Douglas Harper in the Online Entomology Dictionary.
In a personal standpoint, this year’s National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11 stood as a poignant and pivotal occasion. It provided individuals with a unique opportunity to confront their personal truths and navigate a society that may not consistently extend a welcoming embrace.
This day holds particular significance for members of the LGBTQ+ community, offering them a platform to cast aside the metaphorical skeletons that may reside in their closets and boldly assert, “This is me; I am different, devilishly Awesome.”
Yet, National Coming Out Day transcends mere commemoration of the act of coming out. It transforms into a celebration of pro-found self-acceptance, unwavering resilience and the commendable journey of individuals as they courageously embrace their true identities. This annual event serves as a reminder of the enduring strength and fortitude displayed by those who step into the light and declare their authentic selves to the world.
In a society that often demands conformity, it is an opportune moment to declare “I am done being scared. I’m done living in a world where I don’t get to be who I am.” said Simon in the popular LGBTQ+ movie ‘Love, Simon,’ encapsulating the essence of self-discovery and authenticity.
It is a call to step out of the confines of the closet and embrace one’s identity with courage and determination.
Simon’s declaration reflects a broader narrative of breaking free from societal expectations and embracing the pursuit of genuine self-expression.
Being gay and proud is a celebration of one’s authentic self, an affirmation of love and an assertion of the right to live life openly and honestly. It represents the triumph of self-acceptance over societal stigma and a powerful declaration that love knows no bounds.
Being gay and proud means standing tall in the face of adversity, fostering a sense of community and championing equality for all. It’s a vibrant and vital part of the larger movement for LGBTQ+ rights, embodying the courage to live one’s truth and paving the way for a more inclusive and accepting world.

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