On June 28, 1970, LGBTQ+ activists in New York organized Christopher Street Liberation Day, commemorating the resistance of queer and trans people after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn a year earlier. For the past fifty years, LGBTQ+ people have continued this tradition. At Pride parades and other activities, they have gathered to make their presence visible, to protest injustices and express demands for political and legal change, to revel in a sense of community, and to challenge forces that have sought to ignore, silence, or oppress them. This year, Pride Month is tempered by a wave of local and state attempts -- many successful -- to roll back hard-won gains that affect the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people and those who love them. Numerous states have proposed or passed “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, amounting to government-sanctioned acts of censorship in k-12 public schools in order to deny LGBTQ+ people’s historical agency and contributions. In a recent letter opposing these bills, the Organization of American Historians noted that their impact could be devastating not only for LGBTQ+ youth who are stereotyped and stigmatized in school; the bills also amount to historical erasure with potentially harmful consequences for American democracy. These efforts coincide with current moves to suppress the teaching of the history of slavery and racism and attacks on voting rights that compound the threat posed to Americans’ understanding of the past and their future civic and political participation.
Not only do we think LGBTQ+ history should be taught, we don’t think it should be relegated to June only! Fortunately, numerous educators, filmmakers, museums, archives and libraries, and historians have worked diligently to preserve LGBTQ+ history and encourage its presentation, both within classrooms and other venues. On the page below, we have assembled a selective list of resources for educators, students, and others looking for sources for teaching and learning about a variety of topics related to LGBTQ+ experiences in the past.