Hello! If you have not filled out the feedback for week 2 of the LGBTQ+ Equity Challenge, please do so here!

If you have not completed the brief anonymous pre-challenge assessment, please do so here. If you have yet to provide feedback for week one of the challenge, please do so here.

Welcome to week two of the LGBTQ+ Equity Challenge! If you are new to the challenge, you can find last week’s information on our Past Weeks page. Last week we learned about terminology and definitions in the LGBTQ+ community, an essential conversation to understanding the queer community. This week we will add to that foundational knowledge by learning about LGBTQ+ history.
This week is meant to be a brief overview of national, state, and local LGBTQ+ history spanning from the 20th to early 21st century (although there is a lot of information in this week). Consider doing some of your own research, or revisiting some of these materials when you have extra time. LGBTQ+ history can be found throughout the world and its past. This information is far from all-encompassing but we have attempted to provide pivotal moments in queer history that can help inform your knowledge, understanding, and interactions with the LGBTQ+ community.
Week 2: LGBTQ+ History
  • What did you learn that was shocking? How does having some of this knowledge change your perceptions and interactions with queer people? How could knowing queer history affect both non-LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ+ individuals respectfully? 
  • How did the Lavender Scare, which left thousands without jobs and lasted decades, increase rates of homelessness, survival sex, drug usage, etc., and become a precursor to the devastating HIV/AIDs epidemic?  
  • Matthew Shepard’s murder sparked international outrage and change. How would it have been different if he was transgender or a person of color?
LGBTQ+ history is full of countless examples of violence, brutality, and discrimination. Even today, LGBTQ+ history and people are being erased and censored. This erasure has led to parts of queer history being lost, and stories only being half told. Incredibly, we also see countless examples of strength, perseverance, and many reasons for hope.
The University of Wisconsin Green Bay has recently launched Our Voices: LGBTQ Stories of Northeastern Wisconsin. Thanks to the hard work of their dedicated researchers, LGBTQ+ community members, and many others, Our Voices is working to not only preserve but give a voice to LGBTQ+ individuals in Northeastern Wisconsin. Our Voices will be at N.E.W. Pride Alive this year with their Northeastern Wisconsin LGBTQ history tent.  
LGBTQ+ movements across America are full of trans/queer people of color (POC). Much of the success of the LGBTQ+ community is owed to them. Even today, these members of the LGBTQ+ community are often silenced. Below are some preliminary resources on some LGBTQ+ POC who paved the way for change within the community.  
These materials will also help answer some common questions like, “Why do we have pride and why is it important?” (Hint: it wasn’t always just a fun celebration; it was a protest). “Where and how did pride start?” “Were LGBTQ+ individuals really fired from their jobs?” (Yes, thousands).  
As you look through some of the material provided this week and beyond, it is important to remember that these events didn’t happen in a vacuum and inform each other.
With the questions and information above in mind, do at least one of the following:
Dive into LGBTQ+ history with these local/state and national timelines. The national timeline is full of embedded articles and videos that can give you a deeper understanding of a particular event. Anything that you see that is underlined is an additional resource for that topic. Please note, this is a brief history and not meant to be all-encompassing.
Local Listen
Listen here! (16 minutes) - Our Voices: LGBTQ+ Stories of Northeastern Wisconsin, is this region’s only LGBTQ+ Historical Archives. Listen to Deb Anderson, the Coordinator of UW-Green Bay’s Archives Department, as she talks about how the project started, how the community responded, and the direction this project is headed. Deb delivers a passionate and heartfelt story about this vital project.