The LGBT Book of Days – A Fun & Comprehensive Guide to Important Dates in LGBT History By Owen Keehnen.
October is LGBT History Month and author and historian, Owen Keehnen has compiled “A Fun & Comprehensive Guide to Important Dates in LGBT History.” His book titled The LGBT Book of Days highlights various events and individuals throughout history.
I never really understood about the sacrifices of the people who stood up for LGBT rights long before society accepted or protected Gays and Lesbians nor did I grasp the significance of their actions until I reviewed The LGBT Book of Days. Sure, I knew about Frida Kahlo, Freddie Mercury and Walt Whitman to name a few but these are, or were, well known figures in LGBT history.
But what about people like Charlotte Darkey Parkhurst who was born as a girl and became a transgender stage coach driver, early California settler, fighter, farmer and expert woodsman and who died Charlie Parkhurst, a man, in Watsonville, CA on December 28, 1879?
And how about silent film and early talkies actor Bill Haines, who turned his back on Hollywood when he was given an ultimatum about hiding his homosexuality and who died at age of 73 in Santa Monica, CA on December 26, 1973?
-“In appreciation of those who have come before…and as a reminder to those who will follow.”
I don’t think truer words could have been spoken. As I flip through the 334 pages of history it amazes me what the LGBT community has contributed over the years. Whether they meant to or not. They were ordinary people living their lives as they needed to. To be who they were no matter the consequences, eventually becoming extraordinary in their own right.
LGBT history month should be a time for reflection and appreciation of where we were and where we are headed. As you read through these entries and further your knowledge of your community, realize this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is more that needs to be written.