LGBT History Month celebrated for the first time

By Dannis Valera

For the first time in Columbia history, LGBT History Month is being recognized and celebrated by the LGBTQ Office of Culture and Community.

Joy Conway, the coordinator of the office, started planning for the month since the summer. This will be the first time the office gets their own month-long celebration like the other offices in Columbia’s Multicultural Affairs Office.

“I thought that it would be fitting for us to have a month as well since October is National LGBT History Month,” said Conway. “Since I’m the first person who’s had this position full-time, I kind of had more opportunity to take some time out and plan for it.”

LGBT History Month first started in 1994 by high school teacher Rodney Wilson. October was picked because National Coming Out Day already was a well established on the eleventh.

Common Ground’s president Cameron Spiegel really wanted to teach members about LGBTQ history this semester. Common Ground is Columbia’s only LGBTQ-oriented student organization on-campus.

“When I mentioned it to Conway last semester and she was already planning this, I was like ‘Oh my god that’s perfect!’” said Spiegel.

There are a variety of different events planned for the month, as Conway describes, “some party stuff, some history stuff, some community stuff, some service stuff.” Students in Common Ground were very involved in the creation and implementation of the events.

Common Ground’s political chair Michelle Nance has been working very closely with Conway on the “In the Center: An LGBTQ Art Festival Event,” which will feature artwork of all platforms, as well as a fashion show.

Check out this link to find everything that’s happening for LGBT History Month: