Join Prism Book Alliance® as Lynley Wayne goes Outside the Margins today.
Twenty-seven years ago today, Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary decided the world needed a day to celebrate those in the LGBTQ+ community who have come out, and to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues, as well as civil rights issues.
They chose October 11th, because on that date, one year earlier (1987), The Second National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights had taken place. The LGBTQ+ communities desire for the march came from two major events: the spread of AIDS in the 1980s and the Reagan administration’s refusal to acknowledge the AIDS crisis, as well as the Supreme Courts Ruling upholding the criminalization of sodomy between two consenting adult men in the privacy of a home. It was the first time the NAMES project AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed in public. Half a million people had shown up in the hopes of affecting change for the LGBTQ+ community. Because of the success and scope of that rally, many refer to it as “The Great March”. When deciding a day, they chose to honor that anniversary.
Thus, National Coming Out Day was born.
It is observed in many countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for state governments to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. While this was a big step forward for the LGBTQ+ community, it is by no means the end of the fight for equality. There is a long way to go before individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ are no longer; in danger of being fired from their jobs, in danger of being evicted from their homes, forced to use a name or physical label that does not match who they are, denied the right to adopt, abused—verbally or physically—for being themselves, or being murdered for no other reason than being LGBTQ+.
There are still countries that think it acceptable to sentence someone to death, simply for who they love or because they were born in a body that doesn’t match who they are.
LGBTQ+ youth are still being kicked out of their homes and forced to live on the streets. They are still being bullied at schools, being killed, and committing suicide at an alarming rate.
The right to marry was a huge victory for the LGBTQ+. However, there are still battles yet to be won. On this day of celebration and awareness, take the time to educate yourselves about the issues, and the history, of the LGBTQ+ community.
Human Rights Campaign—National Coming Out Day
Wikipedia— “The Great March”
American Civil Liberties Union— LGBTQ+ Rights and Issues
Amnesty International— LGBTQ+ Rights and Issues
Wikipedia— Stonewall Riots
The AIDS Memorial Quilt— Information
About Lynley Wayne
Lynley was a 2014 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist. She published her first book in September of 2012 and hasn’t looked back. When not writing she can found reading or coming up with creative ways to avoid housework. While Lynley Wayne may be a pen name, the woman behind it is very real and believes everyone is entitled to their own version of happiness. She looks forward to the day when who or how we love is no longer an issue.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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