The Rainbow Report – Safe Schools Presents “Queer History 101” in Honor of LGBTQ+ History Month 🌈
“You all better quiet down. I’ve been trying to get up here all day for your gay brothers and your gay sisters in jail that write me every motherfucking week and ask for your help, and you all don’t do a goddamn thing for them.” – Sylvia Rivera
October is not just a month of vibrant fall colors and the spooky fun of Halloween (often dubbed “Queer Christmas”); it’s also a time of rainbow hues and powerful stories that we, as the LGBTQ+ community, get to share. This October, Safe Schools, in collaboration with Tiffany from “Tiffany Explains It All” and Eddie from “The Tea With Eddie,” presents “Queer History 101.” This month-long campaign celebrates the rich history of our LGBTQ+ community and responds to attempts to suppress and erase LGBTQ+ narratives.
Week 1: Groundbreakers and Trailblazers
- Sylvia Rivera: A Stonewall veteran and advocate for LGBTQ+ people of color, trans individuals, and the economically disadvantaged. Rivera’s legacy reminds us of the importance of inclusivity in the fight for rights.
- Compton’s Cafeteria Riots: Before Stonewall, there was Compton’s. Eddie sheds light on this significant resistance in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, emphasizing the LGBTQ+ community’s enduring spirit of resistance and unity.
Week 2: Art, Culture, and Resistance
- Federico Garcia Lorca: A beacon in the LGBTQ+ community, Lorca’s works and identity faced censorship and contention in Spain. His legacy today is celebrated and revered.
- 1920s Europe: A time of progress and persecution. Eddie takes us through the rise and fall of LGBTQ+ acceptance in Europe, highlighting the groundbreaking work of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld and the Berlin Institute for Sexual Research.
Week 3: Pioneers in Space and Health
- Sally Ride: Beyond being the first American woman in space, Ride’s legacy as a lesbian underscores the contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals in diverse fields.
- The 1980s HIV and AIDS Epidemic: Eddie delves into a dark period in LGBTQ+ history, emphasizing the importance of remembering and honoring the past through symbols like the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.
Week 4: Civil Rights and Cultural Revolutions
- Bayard Rustin: A key figure in the civil rights movement, Rustin’s advocacy for racial, economic, and gay rights, despite facing criticism for his open homosexuality, is a testament to his resilience.
- Harlem Renaissance: Eddie highlights the queer undercurrents of this cultural explosion, celebrating Black queer artists’ significant contributions and the era’s dual legacy.
The Power of Stories
History isn’t just about major events and figures. It’s also about the marginalized voices that faced adversity and remained resilient. The LGBTQ+ community has consistently pushed society towards greater unity and justice. However, there have been contemporary attempts, like those by the Miami-Dade Country Public School System, to diminish LGBTQ+ contributions under the pretext of “protecting children.” Such efforts, though not new, have always failed, as history tends to favor justice and inclusivity. Understanding the past can help shape a more inclusive future. We urge everyone to share these stories, ensuring they remain celebrated and remembered.
Share & Educate. Together, we can build a more inclusive tomorrow, today!
By: Harold Marrero
Chief Operating Officer
We encourage you to share this information with friends, fellow teachers, and allies and join us in bringing awareness to our efforts. Your support is essential for our ongoing work to create safe spaces for all students, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or expression. Please consider donating to Safe Schools so that we can continue advocating for inclusivity and diversity within the education system.