October marks LGBTQ+ History Month
SALISBURY, Md. – October marks LGBTQ + History Month. “It’s basically to celebrate the diversity, the inclusion, and how far we’ve come, and how far we still have yet to go, concerning our LGBTQ rights in our community,” said Executive Director of Salisbury PFLAG Mark DeLancey.
DeLancey says a lot of LGBTQ+ history in America can be traced back to the Stonewall riots of 1969. He tells 47 ABC that highlighting the work and sacrifices that black transgender women put into getting that movement going is also a key part of the month. Our whole history of the LGBTQ community can be summed up in the successes of black trans women, who we have a lot to owe to,” said DeLancey.
DeLancey says a lot of progress has been made since then, especially here in Maryland. He points to Maryland’s first ever rainbow crosswalk, right in the heart of Salisbury. Plus, legislation for Maryland’s LGBTQ+ community has come a long way in recent years. That includes HB231/SB046, which eliminates the “gay-trans panic defense”, the creation of the LGBTQ Affairs Commission through HB130, and HB128/SB220 which includes gender identity as a characteristic of sexual orientation in hate crime cases.
Another achievement in Maryland for the LGBTQ+ community, according to Salisbury PFLAG, is the completion of an LGBTQ+ history study. The study was done in 2020 through Preservation Maryland. Plus, Preservation Maryland collected the stories on elder LGBTQ+ people, which Salisbury PFLAG helped to facilitate.
Salisbury PFLAG has a number of events throughout the month to bring the community together, and celebrate LGBTQ+ history. Plus, October 11th marks National Coming Out Day. “I find that it’s a very important day, not because of the significance of the date. I really feel like it’s the significance to the individual of deciding whether or not they want to come out,” said DeLancey.