UAlbany Students Celebrate LGBTQ History Month

Composite of three student portraits depicting young people on the UAlbany campus.
Photos by Johans Severino

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 31, 2023) — LGBTQ History Month is celebrated throughout the month of October in the United States and provides an opportunity to learn about and reflect on the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals and movements.

It was founded in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, an openly gay high school history teacher in Missouri, who chose the month of October so it would coincide with the first and second Marches on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights held in 1979 and 1987.

Johans Severino, a communication major set to graduate in December, photographed and spoke to UAlbany students about what's on their mind this month.

Damien Kritzer

A young person with short curly hair and glasses wears a leather jacket and striped shirt and smiles for a portrait on the UAlbany campus. Fall foliage can be seen in the background.
Masters student in the Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. Connections Peer Education and trans outreach coordinator at the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.

“LGBTQ+ History Month to me is a way to recognize the work it took for the community to get to where we are today. Often, we see LGBTQ+ people and issues being erased from our history when it’s taught to us and this month is a way of reaffirming that the community has always existed and has fought hard for what we have now. LGBTQ+ history needs to be taught as a part of our regular education within schools. There are many things I had no idea about until coming to college or learning from the internet regarding the LGBTQ+ community that I wish had been part of my history lessons in general education.”

Sydney Davidson

A young woman with long black hair in braids and a bright pink blouse poses on the UAlbany campus. Fall foliage can be seen in the background.
Class of 2026. Social media coordinator for the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.

"LGBTQ+ History Month means a time where people a part of the community get to celebrate the history of their identity and the steps that it took to be where we are now. It is also a time to educate others on different topics such as sexualities, genders, pronouns and much more. As a society, we can be more accepting and less judgmental when learning and relating to other people who may not be like us. We can also highlight Queer icons, figures, and activists who've changed the community for the better."

Blake Purdy

A person with short purple hair and a goatee smiles for a portrait in front of bookshelves.
Class of 2026. Gender and Sexuality Resource Center support staff.

“I think that what’s important about LGBTQ+ history month to me is recognizing all the progress that has been made in the fight to receive equal rights, but what I find even more important is recognizing all the progress that still needs to be made, especially when it comes to trans women of color who have historically been at the front of the movement and yet still don’t receive anywhere near the support or respect they deserve.”