DES MOINES, IA — (10-15-21) — While the LGBTQ Community of the USA are celebrating LGBTQ History October, Iowa is celebrating the month by recognizing the progress that’s been made so far for the LGBTQ Community and to recognize the LGBTQ Leaders of the future.
“It’s all about raising awareness and just bringing those conversations and normalizing them, especially for people who are potentially looking to come out or have those open conversations,” said Darek Lambert with Capital City Pride.
LGBT History Month was born in Missouri back in 1994 by a high school teacher named Rodney Wilson who originally came up with the idea.
Iowa is well known for its connection to LGBT history as it made history adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act in 2007. This was followed by the state legalizing same-sex marriage in 2009, six years before the U.S Supreme Court rule Gay Marriage the law of the land.
Now, members of the community both straight and gay, are celebrating the legacy of those who came before.
“We’re nothing without those folks,” said Courtney Reyes, executive director of One Iowa. “I stand on the shoulders of giants, of people who were willing to come out. We’ve been able to really see the benefits of that, of people who were willing to come out and be their true selves.” said Reyes.
While we do have a lot to celebrate, we must remember that IOWA also has a side that is determined to set LGBT civil rights back to the 20th Century. In 2021 alone, the Iowa state legislature has introduced 15 anti-LGBT bills, with the majority of them targeting transgender Iowans.
“While we did see attacks in the past on lesbian, gay and bisexual folks, the main majority of attacks are on our transgender and nonbinary community,” added Reyes.
But despite the challenges the LGBTQ Community and its allies are facing in IOWA, community members are taking the time to celebrate the people making a difference.
The virtual ceremony takes place today, Friday, Oct. 15 at 11:30 a.m. to recognize all of the winners. To watch the virtual event, visit https://oneiowa.org/event/lgbtq-legacy-leader-awards/.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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