The celebrations might look a little different this year, but Aggies will continue to remember the progress the LGBTQ+ movement has made during the month of October.
LGBTQ+ History Month is a time dedicated to remembering the important people and moments that brought the LGBTQ+ community to where it is today. Beginning in 1994, this month includes National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11 and the commemoration of the first “March on Washington” in 1979. It serves as a reminder of how far the community has come in hopes of achieving acceptance and provides a unique opportunity for people outside of the community to learn about its history.
This month-long commemoration is deeply meaningful to each individual for different reasons.
Communications junior and president of MUA Aggies Erik Fontaney said to them, LGBTQ+ History Month means reflecting on the beginning of the gay liberation movement.
“It means acknowledging the Stonewall riots and the most marginalized people in the gay community: butch lesbians, effeminate young men, male prostitutes, transgender individuals and homeless youth,” Fontaney said. “I’ll be celebrating this month by watching some queer documentaries on Netflix.”
Chemistry and geology junior and president of Out in STEM, Daniel Hou, said the act of celebrating LGBTQ+ lives and stories is in itself an act of rebellion, and it’s no secret that queer people, especially queer people of color, are still fighting for recognition and paying with their lives.
“It was a mere 36 years ago that a fight between LGBTQ students and the Texas A&M administration quite literally reached the U.S. Supreme Court,” Hou said. “It was a mere eight months ago that a rally ‘counter-protesting’ Draggieland truly shocked and appalled queer students at A&M.”
Hou said the drag night very much outshone the hatred, and he is marking the holiday by attending the Coming Out Monologues, a virtual collection of stories, videos and poems hosted by the LGBTQ+ Pride Center.
International studies junior Alexia Hernandez said for her, LGBTQ+ History Month means reflecting on the people who fought for sapphic love to be normalized and recognized as legitimate.
“The acceptance I feel from my peers and my ability to be open with who I am can only be attributed to the folks who endured the pain, fear, ostracism, discrimination and struggle of what it means to take part in queer love for women,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said it’s important for her to feel connected to the queer community, even in a socially distanced manner.
“I’ll be celebrating by consuming more content from LGBTQ+ creators, especially diving into queer music, artwork and writings,” Hernandez said. “I resonate a lot with the messages and the sentiment of these works of art.”
Aerospace engineering junior Amy John said she has been deeply affected by the LGBTQ+ movement and its history.
“LGBTQ+ History Month means visibility and validity to me,” John said. “It warms my heart knowing that people have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for inclusivity because that’s something we don’t have yet.”
John said the current attitude of tolerance toward the LGBTQ+ community is not enough. Though this month is designated for LGBTQ+ history, we also must acknowledge its future and what still needs to be done, John said.
“We need acceptance and we’ll continue to fight for it,” John said.
For more information on events happening throughout the rest of October, visit A&M’s LGBTQ+ Pride Center.