LETTER TO THE EDITOR: LGBT people, events part of American history

Ask most students who Washington, Lincoln, or Hamilton are, and in most cases you will get varied biographical pieces on who these men were and what they did for this country.

But ask students who Harvey Milk, Marsha P. Johnson, or Edie Windsor is and you may get foggy answers who scratching heads because as in presently stands in today’s school system, we do not teach the lives of key civil rights leaders who fought for the LGBT+ causes.

October is National LGBT History Month and this month we should focus on giving our students a well-rounded view of ALL who have contributed to our history. A recent US Center for Disease Control study found that roughly 8 percent of students in an average American high school are part of the LGBT, and that was just the number of students who felt comfortable admitting it. By far and large, students would be more comfortable in environments that not only acknowledged them; but empowered them!

Representation is important, and history matters. With recent stories of Hillary Clinton and Hellen Keller getting bumped out of history textbooks in Texas we must wonder what else will be washed from history? It’s not only beneficial to LGBT students to learn LGBT history, all students could gain to learn such historical events as the Stonewall Riots, the Prop 8 vote in California, and the historic 2015 Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage be legal in all 50 states.

These events contribute to a thorough understanding of not just the LGBT’s history, but this country’s history. So this LGBT Month let us all contribute by adding books that discuss LGBT in our children’s libraries, and taking a moment to inform them on one of the most momentous civil rights issues of our time.

Austin Auen


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