The AfterEllen.com Huddle: LGBTQ History Month

We have June for Pride, but October is for History. All this month, we celebrate our lesbian past — our herstory, if you will. So what’s a good way to participate? Well, we all have some different ideas for you.

Get to it, bloggers.

Heather Hogan: I don’t want to brag (yes, I do) but I’m kinda awesome at carving jack-o-lanterns. Last year, these beauties were on display on the walkway to my front porch on Halloween.

The Halloween before last, I carved a really intricate Sirius Black pumpkin, and it was glorious. Except half of my trick-or-treaters didn’t know he was Harry Potter’s godfather; they thought he was Jesus. They kept being like, "God bless you, too!" And I was like, "No! Mischief managed!" But they didn’t get it. I guess that’s when I realized that jack-o-lanterns can be used for more than decorations. They can be used as tools for political and social messages! If Jesus can make an appearance, why not carve some pumpkins this October for LGBTQ History Month? Here are just a couple of ideas, off the top of my head.

Suze Orman‘s DENIED!-o-lantern is sure to be a hit among your frugal trick-or-treaters. Or how about Rachel Maddow‘s glasses? Or, if you want to go with a classic, how about a line from Gertrude Stein? Make sure to hand out good candy, though; you don’t want kids to start associating lesbian icons with those disgusting, generic orange and black candies that taste like "peanut buttter."

Meg Streit: My girlfriend and I recently had dinner with her family and some friends of the family. When we left the restaurant, my gf casually mentioned that one of the family friends seemed kind of uncomfortable with us – and she suggested that it might be because we are gay. I was literally bewildered. I had noticed this guy was acting a little weird at dinner, but I just assumed that he was shy, uninteresting or dumb. It honestly never even occurred to me for a nanosecond that he might not enjoy sharing a meal with a pair of charming and witty lesbians. Never. Even. Crossed. My. Mind.

I live in a world where homophobia, by and large, does not exist. So it confuses me when it happens. I go wherever I want and I feel comfortable being affectionate with my girlfriend in public. Once my lady and I were driving past Chicago’s Wrigley Field on game day with our convertible top down, and some drunk idiot yelled, “Saabs are for fags!” I said, “Thank you.” I thought it was a compliment. (If Saabs are for fags, I wonder what unsuccessful, overweight ex-frat boys drive?)

Anyway, it might seem like I am just oblivious to blatant homophobia, but the point is that I have that luxury. But, I am not so oblivious that I forget what a luxury that is. I know that if I had been born a decade earlier, my life would have been very different. I also know that if it weren’t for the lesbians and gay men who paved the road for me, I would not be able to live in such blissful ignorance. If the generation of gays before me didn’t have the courage to come out, to organize protests, to lobby to change laws, then I would not be able to live as freely as I do. So, in their honor and to celebrate Gay History Month, I am going to be as flagrantly gay as possible all month long – just because I can!

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