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University’s LGBT Month programming celebrates half a dozen queer identities. Gay men are not one of them.

Aromantics and pansexuals are featured, however

A public university is hosting programming for LGBTQIA+ History Month in an effort to educate students about different spectrums of sexuality, with the school offering program on half a dozen queer identities. Conspicuously absent among them: Gay men.

The University of Alabama marks October as LGBTQIA+ History Month and as part of its monthlong programming is hosting talks for students about various types of LGBT “identities and their histories,” according to the school’s website. The programming covers well-known LGBT variants such as lesbianism and bisexuality, as well as more avant-garde sexualities and identities including asexuality, aromanticism, pansexuality, transgenderism and gender non-conformism.

Yet the university’s scheduled list of LGBT talks does not include a presentation on gay men, a demographic that forms a significant percentage of the LGBT community.

The talks are sponsored by the university’s Spectrum organization, the stated goal of which is to provide “understanding and education within the university and its surrounding communities of LGBTQIA+ individuals and (prevent) discrimination against them.”

The College Fix reached out to the school’s Spectrum group, university media relations and the school’s Safe Zone club to ask why the presentation subjects excluded gay men and if the school is planning on hosting any events specifically for or about that demographic. The Fix also inquired about how LGBTQIA+ History Month started at the university and how well-attended the events are. None of these organizations responded to multiple emails.

Numerous other LGBT events offered

The broader agenda for Alabama’s LGBTQIA+ History Month includes a pride homecoming dance, group discussions, a National Coming Out Day photoshoot and a “Queer Artists of Color” showcase.

Two LGBT authors will also be coming to the campus to discuss their books. Samantha Allen will discuss “Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States,” a book that details Allen’s cross-country road trip where she made an effort to do “something gay every day.” In that work she also documents “drag shows, political rallies, and hubs of queer life across the heartland.”

Kate Bornstein, an author who writes books about LGBT issues, will give a lecture on the topic of “World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity.” Bornstein was a co-star in the transgender television reality show “I Am Cait” and is an author of numerous books on LGBT issues including “Gender Outlaw” and “A Queer and Pleasant Danger.”

According to the official website of the broader LGBT History Month, the monthlong observance was started in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher. Wilson “believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history.”

October was chosen in part “because public schools are in session” and also because it coincides with National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11.

The University of Alabama’s celebration of LGBT History Month also coincides with its observance of Hispanic/Latino/Latinx Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

MORE: Yale prof argues gay white men are symbols of heterosexuality

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About the Author
Maria Lencki -- Franciscan University of Steubenville