Eric Hayes, Communications and Development Coordinator
The LGBTQ+ community comes together to celebrate, remember, and support each other in a multitude of ways throughout the year. Each October we honor the rich history of the LGBTQ+ movement, the individuals who have inspired us, and milestones we have reached as a community as we celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month. On October 11th we recognize the power and courage of our community on National Coming Out Day. We stand in solidarity against bullying and harassment of LGBTQ+ youth by wearing purple in recognition of on October 18th.
While we have come a long way, we continue to fight for the ability to live fully as our authentic selves.
- As we celebrate LGBTQ+ history, the federal government continues trying to erase us from government websites and surveys that decide what services are needed in this country.
- Although this year marked the 30th annual National Coming Out Day, youth homelessness in the LGBTQ+ community remains a major issue stemming largely from families rejecting LGBTQ+ youth.
- While Spirit Day brings important visibility to bullying in schools, the current administration has rescinded guidance to protect transgender students in schools.
In Northeast Ohio, we have had a lot to celebrate recently. On September 25th, Cuyahoga County passed an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination which means that 1.2 million people are now protected from discrimination in areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations. On October 11th we celebrated LGBTQ+ Heritage Day and honored 4 individuals from our community for their ongoing commitment to the LGBTQ+ community: Mary Zaller for Public Service, Robert Rivera for Advocacy and Activism, Dr. James Hekman for Health and Wellness, and Deidre McPherson for Arts and Culture. As we celebrate ourselves, honor our past, and look toward the future, we must not become complacent. It is imperative that we continue to stand together to fight for LGBTQ+ inclusion and justice, particularly for those most vulnerable within the community. The movement needs you to help sustain the progress we’ve made and continue to push forward.
These are challenging times and powerful people are trying to push the LGBTQ+ community back into the closet. This year on November 6th, it is more important than ever that the LGBTQ+ and allied community takes an active role in the election of the leaders that stand for equality, inclusion, and justice for all.
Looking for friends to join as you take part in the democratic process? Join The Center and our partners on October 27 at Come OUT to Vote. This event will bring together Cleveland’s queer community for a day of dodgeball, education, food, Halloween costumes, and community action culminating in a march to the Board of Elections to take part in early voting.