You may have heard of Pride Month, which occurs throughout the month of June, however, few recognize the importance of acknowledging LGBTQIA+ History Month. The month-long observance began on October 1 and ends on the 31st. The movement towards LGBTQIA+ Month started in 1994 by a high school teacher; in 1995 the General Assembly of the National Education Association designated the month of October as the observance period, as it coincides with National Coming Out Day, which falls on October 11.
The purpose of the month is to honor gay rights and related civil rights movements whereas the purpose of Pride Month is dedicated to celebrating the visibility of the community and development towards equality. AACRAO Past President and LGBTQIA+ Caucus member, Jack Miner, shares his views and experiences with the movement and organization:
When I first started attending AACRAO, I was not only young in my career but I was completely new to the registrar profession. Stepping into an organization where more than [thousands] attended the Annual Meeting was so intimidating. I knew the other people from my school but didn’t even know other people from other schools in my region. Contrary to perception, my default would have been to just fade into the background, attend a few sessions, and spend the rest of my time alone in my hotel room. The LGBTQIA+ Caucus absolutely transformed my conference experience and changed the direction of my career and what AACRAO has meant in my life. The Caucus made a huge, intimidating organization seem smaller and more personal. The Caucus was the place in AACRAO where I formed incredible friendships, laughed a lot, drank a lot, but also started to volunteer and serve AACRAO more. The Caucus was a place where I could be myself but more importantly, the Caucus was where I found my place.
I am 100% confident that were it not for the Caucus, I would have never been as involved as I have been in AACRAO and would have never imagined a scenario where I could have been AACRAO President. Beyond that, I likely would not have had the same connection and allegiance to the profession without that first professional community in the Caucus.
Throughout the month, AACRAO will share resources and opportunities to learn more about LGBTQIA+ History Month on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. Follow us to join the conversation.
Find your place in AACRAO, learn more about our Caucuses and other ways to get involved.