Imagine sitting in a history class, learning from a teacher who is not only passionate about history but also about advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. That’s what Rodney Wilson brought to the table, a man renowned for his bravery in coming out as gay to his students nearly three decades ago. His audacity translated into a wave of change that outreached his school, hometown, and eventually made national headlines. His story extends far beyond his personal journey, reflecting the power of honesty, representation, and the fight for human rights, which we unearth in this fascinating episode.
Rodney’s tale is not just a testament to individual courage but to the collective power of honesty and representation in the struggle for human rights.
This episode is a blend of Rodney’s personal and professional life, all meticulously interlaced in the broader context of LGBTQ+ history. We delve into his small-town upbringing in Missouri, the challenges he faced as a gay man in a predominantly rural and religious community. We also take a closer look at Rodney’s pivotal role in founding the International Committee on LGBTQ+ History Months, a group committed to advancing the rights of LGBTQ+ youth worldwide. Rodney’s inspiring narrative continues to shape his educational endeavors and influence generations of LGBTQ+ teachers and students alike.
International Committee on LGBTQ+ History Months
Follow Rodney Wilson:
X (Twitter): @rodneycwilson
About LGBT History Month
(Information from the LGBT History Month website)
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.
Celebrate Our Heritage
The LGBT community is the only community worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools or in religious institutions. LGBT History Month provides role models, builds community and makes the civil rights statement about our extraordinary national and international contributions.