What do Sylvia Rivera, Cherrie Moraga, Pedro Zamora, Deadlee, Frida Kahlo, Yosimar Reyes, Chavela Vargas, and John Perez all have in common?
All are Latina/o LGBTQ people who have contributed to their communities, whether it was activism, poetry, art, music, politics or writing. They represent just a small portion of many amazing Latina/o LGBTQ people who have been part of almost every movement for justice throughout history. GSA Network encourages you and your GSA to learn about and share the stories and achievements of these remarkable Latina/o LGBTQ people with your school during Latina/o History Month!
Latina/o History Month is held every year from September 15th to October 15th and was created by Latina/o activists to bring the stories of Latina/o communities into our schools.
In the United States, the history we learn in our schools often does not include the stories of many communities; people of color, LGBTQ people, youth, working class people, immigrants, differently abled people and women, to name a few. For communities that are pushed to the sides by society, like LGBTQ people of color, remembering our histories not only helps us stay strong in the face of injustice, it also can teach and inspire us to find new ways to create the world we want to live in.
That's why GSA Network has created a new resource for GSAs to honor and remember Latina/o LGBTQ people during Latina/o History Month. This great resource is called Nuestras Historías, Nuestro Arcoíris (Our Stories, Our Rainbow) to recognize that Latina/o LGBTQ people have a long and beautiful history that should be remembered, honored and shared. By including LGBTQ people in Latina/o History Month, GSAs can help show the connections between the issues LGBTQ and Latina/o communities face and bring attention to the impact activists like Laura M. Esquivel, Sylvia Rivera and Jose Julio Sarria, have had on our society.
"LGBTQ people should be included in Latina/o History Month because it's important to represent all the different cultures we come from," explained Jennifer Ledesma, Magnolia High GSA President and GSA Network Youth Leader. "LGBTQ people aren't all from the same culture or background, and no one has the same exact story."
"The new resource is amazing!" exclaimed Karina Perez, Francis Polytechnic High GSA President and GSA Network Youth Leader, who plans to educate both students and teachers at her school. "It exposed me to lots of things I didn't know and as a Latina I want to show with pride people form my background that did amazing things, not just for the LGBTQ community, but for all communities."
GSA Network believes that it is important for GSAs to celebrate events like Latina/o History Month to share the powerful histories of Latina/o LGBTQ people and to help GSAs fight to create justice for all who are oppressed.
Don't forget to check out our exciting resource for Black LGBTQ History Month in January. If you have more ideas on how GSAs could celebrate Latina/o History Month or know of other Latina/o LGBTQ people we should add to our guide, please contact Daniel Solis.