October is LGBT+ History Month! Here at Victra, our Victra Pride Alliance [VPA] ERG is celebrating all month long and invite you to join us! Here you can find an archive of the entire month’s events so that you don’t miss out. Beginning October 1, a 30-second video featuring a different LGBT Icon each day will appear below. After October 31, a two-and-a-half-minute overview video of all 31 LGBT Icons will display.
LGBT+ History Month Teams/Zoom Backgrounds
These backgrounds were selected by the members of VPA! Click each image to be able to download them so you can celebrate with us all month!
We’ve been sharing and teaching things all month around LGBT+ History Month, so now it’s time to put your knowledge to the test with an educational, pride quiz!
Time Warp Thursday: Virtual Guided Tour of NYC’S Greenwich Village
CyArk is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 to digitally record, archive and share the world’s most significant cultural heritage and ensure that these places continue to inspire wonder and curiosity for decades to come. This virtual, guided tour will take you through Greenwich Village in NYC, the location of the Stonewall Inn and the Stonewall National Monument, America’s first LGBTQ national park site. Here you can also find additional videos and resources.
Employee Spotlight: Trellaney Boyd
Intersex Awareness Day
Today, October 26, is Intersex Awareness Day. People who are intersex are born with variations in their sex traits or reproductive anatomy or develop variations at some point in their lives. The day commemorates the first known public action by intersex people in the US. Gathered before the nation’s pediatricians, the demonstrators called on the medical community to cease performing non-consensual surgeries on infants to “correct for” intersex traits. Since then, the day has become a way to celebrate intersex people and to shed the stigma experienced by those whose sex traits vary from society’s inadequate binary. The movement for intersex awareness continues to center the human rights issues faced by intersex people. Watch the video linked below to learn more about what intersex means and its history. Additionally, you can visit this site for more resources and media.
Trailblazer Tuesday: William Dorsey Swann
William Dorsey Swann was born into servitude and grew up to become one of the first American activists to spearhead a queer resistance group. He was also the first person known to refer to himself as a queen of drag, and that’s not all. Swann was the first person to use the legal and political system to fight for the right of the queer community to gather in America. The exact year of Swann’s death remains unknown, but he leaves an undeniable legacy for his drag sisters and queer folk everywhere.
Motivational Monday: TedTalk by Samy Nour Younes
Transgender activist and TED Resident Samy Nour Younes shares the remarkable, centuries-old history of the trans community, filled with courageous stories, inspiring triumphs — and a fight for civil rights that’s been raging for a long time. “Imagine how the conversation would shift if we acknowledge just how long trans people have been demanding equality,” he says.
Friday Post: Support LGBTQIA+ Businesses
Uplifting LGBTQIA+ brands is something that is important outside of just Pride month or LGBT+ History Month. Here is a list of some of the businesses you can help support year-round!
Time Warp Thursday: The Alice Austen House Virtual Tour
Alice Austen (1866 – 1952) was one of America’s earliest and most prolific female photographers, and over the course of her life she captured about 8,000 images. Austen’s photographs provide rare documentation of intimate relationships between Victorian women. Her non-traditional lifestyle and that of her friends, although intended for private viewing, is the subject of some of her most critically acclaimed photographs. Austen would spend 53 years in a devoted loving relationship with Gertrude Tate, 30 years of which were spent living together in her home which is now the site of the Alice Austen House Museum and a nationally designated site of LGBTQ history.
Sprit Day (Anti-Bullying)
LGBTQIA+ youth disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities. Each year, millions go purple for Spirit Day to support LGBTQIA+ youth in a united stand against bullying. Pledging to “go purple” on Spirit Day is a way for everyone to visibly show solidarity with youth and to take part in the largest, most visible LGBTQIA+ anti-bullying campaign in the world. 1 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their LGBTQIA+ identity. Learn more facts, explore resources, or take the Spirit Day pledge by following the link below.
Employee Spotlight: Christopher Wilkerson
International Pronouns Day: October 20
International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can help to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities. Click the link below to read a blog post all about pronouns!
Trailblazer Tuesday: Leonard Matlovich
Leonard Matlovich was the first to volunteer to fight the military’s ban on gays, a universal soldier in the fight against AIDS and for full LGBT equality, a loving son, brother, uncle, friend, and inspiration for untold numbers of lives lived out and proud. Before his death, he designed his own tombstone at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC, to serve as a memorial to all gay veterans. He left off his name and identified himself simply as “Gay Vietnam Veteran.” Inscribed underneath is a quote that reads, “When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.” Click the link below to learn more about this important trailblazer in LGBT+ history.
Motivational Monday: TedTalk by Ashlee Marie Preston
“Effective Allyship: A Transgender Take on Intersectionality”
Host, commentator, and activist, Ashlee Marie Preston teaches that when we talk over people, ignore them or shut them down, what we’re really saying is, “I’m more important than you are … I don’t really care what you think, I don’t have time for your opinion, or, this isn’t a conversation. It’s a contest and I’m gonna win.” In this passionate and deeply heartfelt talk, Ashlee seeks to help promote understanding about intersectionality, allyship and an urgency for compassion.
Flags of the LGBTQIA+ Community
Flags have always been an integral part of the LGBTIQ community. They are a visible representation of identity that people use in celebration, in protest, or even as a casual adornment. There have been many LGBTQIA+ flags over the years. Some have evolved, like the original Pride flag created in 1978 by Gilbert Baker and flown at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day parade, while others are constantly being conceptualized and created.
Time Warp Thursday: Andy Warhol Exhibit
This major retrospective is the first Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern for almost 20 years. As well as his iconic pop images of Marilyn Monroe, Coca-Cola and Campbell’s soup cans, it includes works never seen before in the UK. Twenty-five works from his Ladies and Gentlemen series – portraits of black and Latinx drag queens and trans women – are shown for the first time in 30 years. Watch the curator’s tour and explore the exhibition room by room.
Employee Spotlight: Grayce McLaughlin
Trailblazer Tuesday: Harvey Milk
Harvey Milk, was a visionary civil and human rights leader who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk’s unprecedented loud and unapologetic proclamation of his authenticity as an openly gay candidate for public office, and his subsequent election gave never before experienced hope to LGBTQIA+ people everywhere at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination. His remarkable career was tragically cut short when he was assassinated nearly a year after taking office.
Motivational Monday: TedTalk by Audrey Mason-Hyde
“Toilets, bowties, gender and me”
Why is it so important for us to know someone else’s gender? We live in a gendered world, but for Audrey, gender is fluid at best an uncomfortable construct. Is there a way to be less reliant on gender in our interactions with people? And what does this mean when it comes to the clothes we wear, or even which toilet we choose to use? If you met Audrey Mason-Hyde, you might think Audrey was a boy, which isn’t quite correct, but calling Audrey a girl doesn’t feel quite right either. With a fierce intellect and a unique sense of style, Audrey has plenty to say about our gendered world.
International Lesbian Day
International Lesbian Day celebrates lesbian culture, community and visibility, and recognizes lesbian individuals of all gender. It’s marked annually on October 8th because it’s exactly six months after International Women’s Day on March 8th.
VPA Spotify Playlist
This playlist was curated by the members of VPA to celebrate LGBT+ History Month!
Time Warp Thursday: NYC LGBT Historic Sites
This website documents historic sites connected to New York City’s LGBT community, giving life to its often untold history and influence on America. Explore sites by map, view curated themes, or browse an index of nearly 350 sites.
Employee Spotlight: Walt Boyette
Trailblazer Tuesday: Marsha P. Johnson & Sylvia Rivera Blog Post
Motivational Monday: TedTalk by France Villarta
“The gender-fluid history of the Philippines”
In much of the world, gender is viewed as binary: man or woman, each assigned characteristics and traits designated by biological sex. But that’s not the case everywhere, says France Villarta. In a talk that’s part cultural love letter, part history lesson, he details the legacy of gender fluidity and inclusivity in his native Philippines, and emphasizes the universal beauty of all people, regardless of society’s labels.
LGBT+ History Month blog post