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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW celebrates LGBTQ+ History Month

Month of October filled with community building activities, events
Joey Reuteman

Throughout October, LGBTQ+ History Month celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and non-binary history. It also recognizes the significant milestones and struggles in the journey toward LGBTQ+ rights and civil equality.

This month of remembrance and learning was founded in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher. He selected October to align with pre-existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.

To Director of the University of Wisconsin Gender and Sexuality Campus Center Warren Scherer, this month provides people from the LGBTQ+ community and beyond to look back at the contributions made by LBGTQ+ individuals to the world’s history and development that have often been overlooked or forgotten, Scherer said.


For centuries, including in pre-recorded history, LGBTQ+ community members have contributed to music, culture, politics, movement work, groundbreaking research and more, according to Scherer.

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“That erasure has an impact,” Scherer said. “Recognizing and honoring LGBTQ+ History Month invites folks to look back at the notable people — the ‘legends’ as I refer to them — who have contributed to history, and to also reflect on the people who didn’t get the recognition they deserve, or those who have been erased from the narrative.”

In addition to looking back, LGBTQ+ History Month prompts people to consider who’s making history now and to give space and opportunity to LGBTQ+ members to make history into the future, Scherer said.

At UW, there are several events that have and will take place in celebration and honor of LGBTQ+ History Month.

Additionally, some events occur monthly and are open to any students interested in attending, according to the website.

An important event to note is the traveling display “We Will Always Be Here: Wisconsin’s LGBTQ+ Historymakers,” provided by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Available from Oct. 9 to Nov. 6, the event in Rice Lake dives into the stories of eight LGBTQ+ visionaries, advocates and storytellers that have helped make positive changes in the world, according to the website.

The GSCC hosts a “Hearts & Crafts” each week from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to give community members the opportunity to relax and relieve stress. The event continuously has art supplies and other wellness-themed activities for students to enjoy, according to the website. This event occurs every Tuesday of each week throughout the semester.

One notable that has passed feature the founder of Queer Brown Vegan Isaias Hernandez, who gave a speech at the Wisconsin Union Theater in overlap of both Latinx Heritage Month and LGBTQ+ History Month on Oct. 5, Scherer said.

The GSCC hosted “Gayme Night” at the Red Gym, where students and community members were able to play board and card games to get to know each other and the organization Oct. 6, Scherer said.

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In honor of National Coming Out day, Oct. 11., the GSCC provided a host of activities, including a tabling activity on Library Mall and a door signing event at the Red Gym. At the “Coming out door Photo Booth,” visitors were able to sign a door built by students on campus and get their pictures taken symbolizing a ‘coming out of the closet’ circumstance so they can be both celebrated and affirmed in company and in support from the community, Scherer said.

“With regard to National Coming Out Day, it can really vary based on where someone grew up or the environment someone grew up in whether or not they were supported, affirmed, encouraged or nurtured, or if they had to hide who they were in order to not be disowned or discarded upon coming out,” Scherer said.

Other campus affiliates are also celebrating LGBTQ+ communities this month, including The Pres House Church and Apartments. Pres House is an openly affirming LGBTQ+ Presbyterian church and community.

Manato Jansen is an ordained minister at the American Baptist Churches USA and is the Associate Director of Residential Community at the Pres House. Jansen hosts queer residents and community members at various times each week to provide a space for those to celebrate, honor and express themselves.

“We have queer residents who meet every two weeks and talk about questions and topics that are important to them in their queer identity and expression,” Jansen said. “And then on the church side, we have a group that’s called Queerly Beloved. It’s a group where people can bring their spiritual and and queer identities together. We meet every week and celebrate life together.”

These events at Pres House are not particular to LGBTQ+ History Month, but are activities that happen year-round where everyone from the Madison community is welcome to attend, Jansen said.

The Queerly Beloved group was established to help bridge the gap between identifying with the LGBTQ+ community and practicing Christianity, which is something that many people who identify with both communities feel conflicted about, Jansen said.

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“It’s a place where people can be fully themselves in all sorts of identities,” Jansen said. “So that’s definitely been a real gift to see and I feel like being able to see students bring their full selves into a space like Queerly Beloved feels hopeful when student life is already so stressful and very difficult to navigate socially. I feel like it genuinely helps them with understanding who they are, and just their overall well being for their whole self.”

For more information about future and ongoing events on campus, visit the GSCC’s website.

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