Wednesday, October 12, 2022

2SLGBTQIA+ history month

October 1 marks the beginning of LGBT History Month. Different from Pride Month, LGBT History Month was created in 1994 by Rodney Wilson to celebrate 2SLGBTQIA+ history.
2SLGBTQIA+ history is Canadian history
2SLGBTQIA+ history is Canadian history. Whether you are part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities or not, the movements, progress, discrimination, and legislation have shaped the Canada we all share today.
Learning 2SLGBTQIA+ history is crucial to understanding current discrimination faced by 2SLGBTQIA+ people. The rhetoric that was used to vilify gay people and lesbians that rose in the 1970s around grooming and pedophilia has been revived and is currently being used to vilify transgender and gender-expansive people. These accusations are completely fabricated but are being spread as hard truths to the point where lawmakers, particularly in the United States and United Kingdom, are rolling back protections on transgender rights.
Resources readily available
There are, of course, many things in 2SLGBTQIA+ history to celebrate. Countless 2SLGBTQIA+ people have made contributions and innovations to every field imaginable. The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) encourages members to take time in October to continue their education on 2SLGBTQIA+ history. There are a number of free films and documentaries on 2SLGBTQIA+ topics available to watch through the National Film Board of Canada’s website.
Websites like Queer Events and the Canadian Encyclopaedia are excellent sources of information when looking for a timeline of 2SLGBTQIA+ history in Canada, or when looking for knowledge on specific events like the adoption of the term Two Spirit (niizh manidoowag), on when sexual orientation was included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and freedoms, and on raids like the one that was carried out against the Brunswick Four. The Arquives is another resource with a mandate to collect and archive 2SLGBTQIA+ history at a national level.
History must be intersectional
When seeking more education on 2SLGBTQIA+ history, it’s important to also look for and consult works that have previously not been included in history. 2SLGBTQIA+ history that involves BIPOC, immigrants, women, and people with disabilities is equally as important to preserve and pass down to future generations, particularly records kept and created by members of those groups.
“This isn’t some remote history,” said Bert Blundon, NUPGE President. “We’re talking about movements and legislation that happened within our parents’ lifetimes, and in many cases, our lifetimes.”
“2SLGBTQIA+ history must be preserved for future generations of Canadians, especially for young 2SLGBTQIA+ Canadians,” said Jason MacLean, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer.