Coming Out Day – October 11
Coming Out Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender—coming out regarding one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity being akin to a cultural rite of passage for LGBT people. The day is observed annually by members of the LGBT community and allies on October 11.
National Coming Out Day is observed in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, the Human Rights Campaign sponsors NCOD events under the auspices of their National Coming Out Project, offering resources to LGBT individuals, couples, parents and children, as well as straight friends and relatives, to promote awareness of LGBT families living honest and open lives.
On Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was the second such demonstration in our nation’s capital and resulted in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization (LLEGÓ) and AT&T’s LGBT employee group, LEAGUE. The momentum continued four months after this extraordinary march as more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists from around the country gathered in Manassas, Va., about 25 miles outside Washington, D.C. Recognizing that the LGBT community often reacted defensively to anti-gay actions, they came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that second march on Washington to mark it. The originators of the idea were Rob Eichberg, a founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates. From this idea the National Coming Out Day was born.
To this day National Coming Out Day continues to promote a safe world for LGBT individuals to live truthfully and openly. Read more.
A sacrament is an act that mediates the grace and mystery of God.
Coming out is a sacrament for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) people of faith because it sets us on a lifelong path of manifesting God’s grace in our lives. Coming out is crucial to our spiritual development because it starts us on a journey of integrating our GLBT identity into our whole life. Or to say it another way: embracing our GLBT identity is an invitation to go deeper in our spiritual journey.
Gay Christian author and activist Chris Glaser believes that sexual minorities, often denied their churches’ traditional sacraments, have found unique access to the sacred in their lives: coming out of the closet. Glaser persuasively argues that coming out–as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered–has biblical precedence and sacramental dimensions. Using personal and biblical illustrations, he discusses coming out as an act of vulnerability, much like a sacrificial offering of ancient times, that invokes God’s presence and effects atonement, or reconciliation. In this engaging book he shows how coming out, like other sacraments, may serve as a means of grace–that is, an experience of God’s unconditional love.
Relates a coming out experience in Argentina. Responses to a pastoral letter sent by the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops to the parents of gay children after being published in Argentina in January 1999; Action taken by former Argentinean President Carlos Memem in response to the decision of the Argentine Supreme Court to upheld an appellate court decision denying legal status to the Community of Argentine Homosexuals; Way of receiving the sacrament of reconciliation.
National Gay Lesbian Taskforce
“Thus says the Lord: In a time of favor I have answered you, on a day of salvation I have helped you … saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.'” Isaiah 49:8-9. (NRSV)
In 1994, Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history, and gathered other teachers and community leaders. They selected October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), occur that month.
Gay and Lesbian History Month was endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association, and other national organizations. In 2006, Equality Forum assumed responsibility for providing content, promotion and resources for LGBT History Month.
It’s Not Unusual is a lively, anecdotal account of lesbian and gay Britain told through the testimony of those who lived through it all. What it was like to attend West End premieres in the Twenties with a monocled, cross-dressed Radclyffe Hall.
Placing GLBT people at the center of the history of the twentieth century,
Vicki L. Eaklor’s Queer America: A People’s GLBT History of the United States is a major new effort to popularize a long-overlooked chapter in the American experience.
Lemke’s interviews with 14 gay men, mainly working class, not only encompass a range of gay lifestyles–from married men leading double lives to men proud of passing as “straight” in military service–but reflect almost a century of German history. The notorious paragraph 175 of the German criminal code subjected gays to concentration camp brutalities, which are vividly described by Erichy (interviewees are identified by their first name only).
The city of Buenos Aires has guaranteed all couples, regardless of gender, the right to register civil unions. Mexico City has approved the Cohabitation Law, which grants same-sex couples marital rights identical to those of common-law relationships between men and women. Yet, a gay man was murdered every two days in Latin America in 2005, and Brazil recently led the world in homophobic murders. These facts illustrate the wide disparity in the treatment and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations across the region.
Sexuality and Socialism is a remarkably accessible analysis of many of the most challenging questions for those concerned with full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
Visibility matters to activists—to their social and political relevance, their credibility, their influence. But invisibility matters, too, in times of political hostility or internal crisis. Out in Africa is the first to present an intimate look at how Namibian and South African lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations have cultivated visibility and invisibility as strategies over time. As such, it reveals the complexities of the LGBT movements in both countries as these organizations make use of Western terminology and notions of identity to gain funding even as they work to counter the perception that they are “un-African.”
From the Boy Scouts and the U.S. military to marriage and adoption, the gay civil rights movement has exploded on the national stage.Eric Marcus takes us back in time to the earliest days of that struggle in a newly revised and thoroughly updated edition of Making History, originally published in 1992.Using the heart-felt stories of more than 60 people, he carries us through the compelling five-decade battle that has changed the fabric of American society.
In this unique oral history, gay Asian Americans talk frankly about their struggle for self-determination and independence. For the first time, in their own words, pioneers in the Los Angeles movement discuss the gay scene in Southern California and the development of a distinctly Asian American identity.
Lambda literary award finalist, Same-Sex Love in India presents a stunning array of writings on same-sex love from over 2000 years of Indian literature. Translated from more than a dozen languages and drawn from Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and modern fictional traditions, these writings testify to the presence of same-sex love in various forms since ancient times, without overt persecution. This collection defies both stereotypes of Indian culture and Foucault’s definition of homosexuality as a 19th-century invention, uncovering instead complex discourses of Indian homosexuality, rich metaphorical traditions to represent it, and the use of names and terms as early as medieval times to distinguish same-sex from cross-sex love. An eminent group of scholars have translated these writings for the first time or have re-translated well-known texts to correctly make evident previously underplayed homoerotic content.
A Global History of Sexuality provides a provocative, wide-ranging introduction to the history of sexuality from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Explores what sexuality has meant in the everyday lives of individuals over the last 200 years. Organized around four major themes: the formation of sexual identity, the regulation of sexuality by societal norms, the regulation of sexuality by institutions, and the intersection of sexuality with globalization
Since the Stonewall rebellion in 1969, gay and lesbian movements have grown from small outposts in a few major cities to a worldwide mobilization. This book brings together stories of the emergence and growth of movements in more than a dozen nations on five continents, with a comparative look that offers insights for both activists and those who study social movements.
Produced in collaboration with PBS-affiliate WHYY, “Gay Pioneers” is a 30-minute documentary chronicling the first organized gay and lesbian civil
rights demonstrations. These “Annual Reminders” took place in front of Independence Hall each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969, paving the way for the Stonewall Uprising and the New York Pride Parade. www.gaypioneers.com
“Saint of 9/11” presents the remarkable, inspiring story of Father Mychal Judge—beloved Chaplain of the New York Fire Department, compassionate champion of the needy and forgotten, rousing Irish-American balladeer, iconoclast, pioneering AIDS activist, and the first official victim of 9/11. Narrated by Ian McKellen. www.saintof9-11.com
Equality Forum’s first feature-length film recounts the story of Jim Wheeler, a gifted teen from rural Pennsylvania who took his own life as a direct result of the homophobia he faced from his peers. Five years later, representatives of Young Gay America conducted a road trip interviewing out gay and lesbian youth in America’s heartland, carrying Jim’s story with them. This touching and inspirational film has garnered awards at film festivals nationwide. www.jiminbold.com
This compilation DVD includes all 31 LGBT History Month 2013 Icon videos plus the two-and-a-half-minute overview video. It’s perfect for your LGBT History Month celebration!
UK Black History Month 2013
Black History Month (BHM) / Afrikan History Month (AMH) is held every October in Britain and February in USA and Canada. The aims are to:
The origins of Black History Month go back to 1926, when Carter G Woodson, editor for 30 years of the Journal of Negro History, established African Caribbean celebrations in America. It is still celebrated there in February each year.
In Britain, the Black History Month now regularly includes more than 6,000 events.
View a special timeline marking the key figures and significant events for Africans and the diaspora over the past 2,000 years.
Resources for Black History Month UK
UK Black Firsts:
International Women’s History Day, 8 March 2013
United States Women’s History Month, March 2013
Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination:
Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
|Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history,
– Myra Pollack Sadker
This Year’s International Women’s Day 2013 Events By Country
In 1980, the National Women’s History Project (NWHP) was founded in Santa Rosa, California, by Molly Murphy MacGregor, Mary Ruthsdotter, Maria Cuevas, Paula Hammett, and Bette Morgan to broadcast women’s historical achievements.
Violence against women and girls — in peacetime and in conflict — knows no national or cultural boundaries.
Founded in 1935, the NCNW mission is to lead, develop, and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities.
The Global Fund For Women advances the rights of women and girls worldwide by increasing the resources for, and investing in, women-led organizations and women’s collective leadership for change.Learn more.
To advance women’s human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities and building lasting solutions to the crises women face. Learn more.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws is an international solidarity network that provides information, support, and a collective space for women whose lives are shaped, conditioned, or governed by laws and customs said to derive from Islam. Learn more.
Why Women’s History?
History helps us learn who we are, but when we don’t know our own history, our power and dreams are immediately diminished.
Multicultural women are overlooked in most mainstream approaches to history, so many organizations like the National Women’s History Project, champion their accomplishments and lead the drive to write women back into history.
Recognizing the achievements of women in all facets of life — science, community, government, literature, art, sports, medicine — has a huge impact on the development of self-respect and new opportunities for girls and young women. Read more.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future. In some countries like China, Russia, Vietnam, and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. The first IWD event was run in 1911, so 2011 saw the Global Centenary. Read more.
As recently as the 1970s, women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum or in general public consciousness. To address this situation, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County [California] Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978.
The week of March 8th, International Women’s Day, was chosen as the focal point of the observance. The local Women’s History Week activities met with enthusiastic response, and dozens of schools planned special programs for Women’s History Week. Over one hundred community women participated by doing special presentations in classrooms throughout the country, and an annual “Real Woman” Essay Contest drew hundreds of entries. The finale for the week was a celebratory parade and program held in the center of downtown Santa Rosa, California. Read more
Every year on 8 March, the world celebrates International Women’s Day (IWD). IWD provides a common day for globally recognizing and applauding women’s achievements, as well as for observing and highlighting gender inequalities and issues. Year round, many organizations and individuals work tirelessly to support gender equality through a multitude of initiatives, causes, and actions. Read more.
Online Learning and Teaching Materials in 9 languages
El Día Internacional de la Mujer Trabajadora o Día Internacional de la Mujer conmemora la lucha de la mujer por su participación, en pie de igualdad con el hombre, en la sociedad y en su desarrollo íntegro como persona. Se celebra el día 8 de marzo.La primera convocatoria tuvo lugar en 1911 en Alemania, Austria, Dinamarca y Suiza extendiéndose su conmemoración, desde entonces, a numerosos países. En 1977 la Asamblea General de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) proclamó el 8 de marzo como Día Internacional por los Derechos de la Mujer y la Paz Internacional. Es fiesta nacional en algunos países.
UN Women was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010 to accelerate progress on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Co-sponsored by UN Women, the International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics is an extensive online workspace and advocacy platform where everyone from elected officials to students can access resources, use tools, participate in forums, and get expert advice on women in political life. Learn more.
Gender & HIV/AIDS
GenderandAIDS.org aims to promote understanding, knowledge sharing, and action on HIV and AIDS as a gender and human rights issue. This comprehensive web portal offers up-to-date information on the epidemic from a gender perspective, a full range of resources, personal stories and commentaries, and multimedia advocacy tools. Learn more.
This portal makes available more than 200 evaluations on what works to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.Learn more.
This web portal aims to facilitate the exchange of information between academics, practitioners, researchers, and activists working on gender budget initiatives. It features articles, research papers, and training tools, and it offers resources in Arabic, French, Portuguese and Spanish. Learn more.
Say NO — UNiTE to End Violence against Women —
UN Women’s Say NO initiative is a global platform for advocacy and action, engaging participants from all walks of life to prevent and address violence against women and girls. Learn more.
HIV / AIDS Awareness Day, 10 March 2013
This is my body…
Brokened by malnutrition,
Sold into sex trafficking.
This is my blood…
Shed through genital mutilation,
Abuse from my husband, wife, significant other,
Infected by HIV.
This is my life…
Taken by infanticide,
Lost through homicide, suicide,
Fires that rage through sweatshops in third world countries.
As you break the bread of your table,
Lift the cup of non fair trade coffee,
Put on your five dollar t-shirt,
We are intricately intertwined.
The History of Black History Month
Black History Teaching Resources
Black History Videos
Watch videos about the extraordinary lives of famous figures in Black History. Explore their biographies and the stories of many more who changed the world with their groundbreaking achievements
Smithsonian Folkways – Sing For Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs – Various Artists and Related Lesson Plans: “South Africa, Free At Last:The Freedom Songs of South Africa and the Civil Rights Movement in America”
Between 1840 and 1860, before the American Civil War, enslaved Africans followed the North Star on the Underground Railroad to find freedom in Canada.
Abolition of Enslavement in Canada
It was through the dynamic created by the resistance of Africans, both enslaved and free, and the position of others opposed to slavery based on ideas of equality, that the abolition of enslavement was finally achieved throughout the British controlled world, including Canada, on August 1, 1834.
The Oro Settlement was one of the earliest Black settlements in Ontario. It was not the largest in Upper Canada, but it was the only one that resulted from government planning and encouragement.
In the spring of 1968, six Black Caribbean students at Sir George Williams University (now part of Concordia University, Montreal) accused a biology lecturer of racism.
Black History Month provides an opportunity to share and learn about the experiences, contributions and achievements of peoples of African ancestry. It was initiated in Canada by the Ontario Black History Society, which was founded in 1978.
At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality:
The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington – 150 Years of Freedom
The year 2013 marks two important anniversaries in the history of African Americans and the United States. On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation set the United States on the path of ending slavery. A wartime measure issued by President Abraham Lincoln, the proclamation freed relatively few slaves, but it fueled the fire of the enslaved to strike for their freedom. In many respects, Lincoln’s declaration simply acknowledged the epidemic of black self-emancipation – spread by black freedom crusaders like Harriet Tubman – that already had commenced beyond his control. Those in bondage increasingly streamed into the camps of the Union Army, reclaiming and asserting self-determination. The result, abolitionist Fredrick Douglass predicted, was that the war for the Union became a war against slavery. The actions of both Lincoln and the slaves made clear that the Civil War was in deed, as well as in theory, a struggle between the forces of slavery and emancipation. The full-scale dismantlement of the “peculiar institution” of human bondage had begun.
In 1963, a century later, America once again stood at the crossroads. Nine years earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court had outlawed racial segregation in public schools, but the nation had not yet committed itself to equality of citizenship. Segregation and innumerable other forms of discrimination made second-class citizenship the extra-constitutional status of non-whites. Another American president caught in the gale of racial change, John F. Kennedy, temporized over the legal and moral issue of his time. Like Lincoln before him, national concerns, and the growing momentum of black mass mobilization efforts, overrode his personal ambivalence toward demands for black civil rights. On August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of Americans, blacks and whites, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, marched to the memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, in the continuing pursuit of equality of citizenship and self-determination. It was on this occasion that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his celebrated I Have a Dream speech. Just as the Emancipation Proclamation had recognized the coming end of slavery, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom announced that the days of legal segregation in the United States were numbered.
This copy has been republished electronically with permission from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History at www.asalh.org.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture
On August 28, 1963, at the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. began his speech by declaring, “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity … In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.” <p”>In 2013 the country will commemorate two events that changed the course of the nation – the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 1963 March on Washington. Standing as milestone moments in the grand sweep of American history, these achievements were the culmination of decades of struggles by individuals – both famous and unknown – who believed in the American promise that this nation was dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.” Separated by 100 years, they are linked together in a larger story of freedom and the American experience. <p”>To commemorate these two pivotal achievements, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in collaboration with the National Museum of American History (NMAH) will present an exhibition, featuring historic photographs, paintings, new film footage and objects, that explores the historical context of these two crucial events, their accomplishments and limitations, and their impact on the generations that followed. Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963 December 14, 2012 – September 15, 2013
At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington (2013 Official Theme)Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.
Black History Month – Canada
NBCC’s Black History Month The Ontario Black History Society Ontario Black History Month Veterans Affairs Canada profiles the Second Construction Battalion, and the military legacy of Canada’s Black community.
From a Daughter of the Dust
We are the children of those who chose to survive…
Nana Pouissant in Daughters of the Dust
If you teach a child of African Descent about slavery,
Make sure you also teach them about the tenacity of their ancestors
Ripped from the motherland
Transported and transplanted
but defiant Spirit
Remind them that
the genes of the pyramids
the worldview of Ubuntu
the shared bloodlines of Mandela, Sirleaf, King, Da Costa, Parks,and Obama
Flow through their veins too
For they are indeed
The children of those who chose to survive.
written by Vickey Gibbs
Dear MCC Pastors,
The new MCC Office of Outreach is pleased to provide this sample prayer for service(s) this weekend in observance of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), always scheduled for 17 May of each year. We ask you to please take a moment in Sunday’s service(s) to make your congregation aware of this global event. More information can be found here.
Blessings and Peace,
Your MCC Office of Outreach Team
Rev. Elder Diane Fisher, Jason O’Neill, and Angel Collie
Whose love wraps around us,
May we be open to your gentle nudges
Calling us to love one another
As you love us.
As we approach this time
Of honoring and celebrating diversity
In all its forms,
May IDAHO events happening around the world
Be surrounded with peace and safety.
May the IDAHO actions be effective in
Moving world leaders to respect, protect, and support all humanity.
Keep those who live and work, courageously
On the margins of society, free from harm.
Help them to find strength in knowing they are not alone.
We pray that all people can be free
To love who we choose,
To be truly who we are,
And to walk without fear
Wherever we may be.
Help us to be open to difference
And to be united in hope.
We ask this and more
In your many names,
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Metropolitan Community Churches Moderator Introduces 2010 Easter Offering Resources
I am blessed to share with you MCC’s 2010 Easter Resources! It is our hope that these resources will help create context and bring to life both the need and the efforts of MCC’s Global Ministries. Once a year, we provide this special opportunity for the congregations of MCC to help make a major difference in the lives of LGBT people around the world. Included are resources that can help you share the message and the mission of Global Justice in MCC with the people of your congregations. These resources will introduce your congregation to MCC leaders, their stories and the difference that their presence is making around the world. We believe that The “Be a Gem Campaign” and our new Global Justice Institute will extend the reach of our hope filled message and serve to connect us at General Conference and beyond.
The resources available for your use include my 2010 Easter video message and appeal, a PowerPoint presentation and a bulletin insert that introduce some of MCC’s amazing global leaders. Please click here to utilize any combination of these resources to support your Easter liturgies. Thank you in advance for your willingness to make a difference and help MCC continue to tear down walls and build up hope around the world by contributing an Easter offering.
See you in Acapulco!
Grace and Peace,
Moderator Metropolitan Community Churches
MCC | PO Box 1374 | Abilene | TX | 79604