It’s LGBTQ History Month 

It’s LGBTQ History Month this October, and we’re excited to take y’all on a journey through Queer history. Stay tuned for weekly posts highlighting different themes in LGBTQ history, brought to you by the Education Team at OFC.

We also wanted to spotlight Rodney Wilson, the gay teacher who spearheaded National LGBTQ History Month. Learn more about the movement here:

LGBTQ History Month Week 4: JOY

The Rainbow Pride flag is an iconic symbol that reminds us how much we have become. We have waved rainbow flags since 1978. Since then, the flag’s design has expanded to honor and celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and remind us of our collective commitment to building a more just and inclusive world.

On June 25, 1978, the first rainbow flag was represented at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. The flag was designed by Gilbert Baker who arrived in San Francisco and soon after joined the Gay Liberation movement. In Baker’s memoir, he reflects that after the American Bicentennial, in 1976, “I thought of flags in a new light. I discovered the depth of their power, their transcendent, transformational quality. I thought of the emotional connection they hold.”

Gilbert Baker was originally from Kansas and arrived in San Francisco in the 1970s. Baker came to San Francisco to pursue his dream as an artist and, adept at both sewing and tie-dyeing, was drawn to working with fabrics and textiles. A few years later, Baker met Harvey Milk, the first openly gay member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who believed in “how actions could create change.” Harvey Milk wanted to create some sort of symbol to push forward the movement and send messages to young LGBTQ+ people to have hope for the future. Harvey Milk’s vision was to create an alternative symbol of pride that would replace the pink triangle, which was a symbol born of nazi persecution. Gilbert Baker and other volunteers stitched together eight colorful stripes to create an enormous banner, with each color representing a theme: hot pink stood for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for nature, turquoise blue for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit. The waving rainbow flag has held strong the hope for a society in which everyone can belong and thrive.

The flag, however, has not remained a static symbol. In 2016, there were many incidents of racism and discrimination happening in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood within the LGBTQ+ community against queer people of color. After several harmful incidents came to light, community members demanded change, and in
June 2017, the original LGBTQ+ Pride flag was redesigned by design agency Tierney in partnership with Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs. The Philadelphia Pride flag presents the “More Color More Pride “campaign as a part of the protest against LGBTQ+ discrimination. Tierney added two additional stripes to represent black and brown people and to raise visibility in the community. Tierney and Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs collaborated on the new Philadelphia flag with the hope that we all can recognize the contributions and importance of people of color, trans, and non-binary people to the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2018, the Progress Pride Flag was designed by non-binary American artist Daniel Quasar. The flag’s redesign includes an arrow pointing to the right made up of blue, pink, and white stripes to honor the trans community as well as black and brown stripes to celebrate the racial diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. The arrow pointing to the right represents the forward movement to remind ourselves that the fight for our future is ongoing. Daniel Quasar designed the Progress Pride Flag with the intention to uplift the diversity of the queer community and to create deeper meaning as to what the flag represents in terms of our past, present, and future.

In 2021, UK artist Valentino Vecchietti designed the newest version of the Intersex-Inclusive Progress Flag which is also known as the LGBTQIA+ Pride Flag. Vecchietti is an intersex equality rights campaigner who redesigned the Progressive Flag to incorporate intersex inclusion.The yellow represents the intersex community with the purple ring to move away from colors that are associated with gender stereotypes. The unbroken circle symbolizes fighting for bodily autonomy.

The Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride Flag brings the newest visibility in celebration of the LGBTIQA+ community. We have come a long way to stand for the LGBTIQA+ communities and will continue the fight for a world in which all can belong and thrive.

Lesson Plan:

Queer Flags


Deane, Ben. “The Philly Pride Flag explained.” The Inquirer (2021).

“PRIDE: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag.” Kirkus Reviews 2018: n. pag. Print.

Smith, Charles Michael. “Behind the Rainbow.” The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide 13.5 (2006): 49–. Print.

Taylor, Vanessa. “Beyond the rainbow: An abridged history of Pride flags.” MIC (2021).

Pride: “I designed the Intersex-Inclusive flag.” BBC News.

LGBTQ History Month Week 3: RESISTANCE

Queer history is not often taught in our schools or spoken about in our society therefore we wanted to explore some contemporary queer youth who are fighting for respect and decency. Qeer folks have been intrinsic members of social resistance movements throughout history because fighting for our visibility and freedom to be ourselves is integral to our ability to thrive. The future of our world belongs to our youth of today, so please take a moment and learn about these 7 Queer Youth who are demanding safety, and security for all youth through advocacy and education!

We owe much appreciation to youth like Gavin Grimm (he/him) for taking his case to court advocating for the educational rights of youth to use the bathroom of their choice. After coming out as trans in 2014 during his sophomore year Gavin’s school put in place a policy preventing him from using the boys bathroom. Their policy prohibited youth with “gender identity issues” from using the same bathrooms as other youth. Gavin obtained a court order indicating his legal name change validating his supporting documents like state ID. Represented by the ACLU Gavin sued the school board for discrimination after they refused to provide him with transcripts matching his gender. After four years of litigation Gavin won.

Schuyler (he/him) is an American of Korean descent who was originally recruited for the women’s swimming team but after a gap year he returned having begun his transition and identifying as male. The coaches invited him to join the men’s team where he  became the first openly transgender NCAA Division 1 Swimmer, and the first NCAA openly trandgender athlete. He is currently working as an educator, author and advocate. Schuyler is a public speaker about mental health, body positivity and issues impacting transgender folks. Schuyler provides an array of services from public speaking, to support groups, consulting, mentoring and workshops. 

Ashton Mota (he/him) is a Black and Latinx trans teen who after coming out started a Gay Straight Alliance at his school and became a Human Rights Campaign Youth Foundation Ambassador. In 2018 he became the public face for the “Yes on 3” a movement fighting to uphold the law protecting transgender youth to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. Ashton is currently a public speaker advocating for the rights of LGBTQ+ people of color.

Another youth who pushed back on policies within schools is Jack Petocz (he/him) who was suspended after handing out pride flags during a walkout at his school where students were protesting the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill in Florida. In May of this year he was barred from running for class president as part of his discipline for the flags. Jack was recently featured in The New York Times for his activism against banning books in schools. In the past he has spoken out against school dress codes. He is currently a Political strategist for Gen-Z for Change.

In 2018 David Hogg (he/him) and X Gonzalez (they/them) survived the Parkland school shooting and were immediately called to action to advocate for more progressive gun legislation. In a speech days after the shooting X called out the government for not doing more to pass gun legislation. One month later they led the first March of Our Lives demonstration in Washington D.C. Although they are both co-founders of March of Our Lives each youth has taken their own path since then. David’s gun control activism has been centered around mental health. Earlier this year David was escorted from a House hearing for banning assault weapons upon hearing they could be helpful if we were invaded from the south. On the 1st of this month David spoke at an event promoting voting. In his speech he called for us to stop using the excuse of mental illness for racism and white nationalism. Recently X has been focusing on their educational goals but continues to advocate for all of us to speak out and not underestimate the power we all have.

As we discuss facilitating community learning, we highlight Isaias Hernandez (he/him) who started his own educational website to encourage people of color to broaden their understanding and knowledge of environmental issues impacting our communities. Isaias is gay a climate activist, an eco influencer and an environmental educator whos work focuses on educating folks around sustainability, and environmental justice. On his website Queer Brown Vegan he discusses environmental justice access and how important it is for youth from low-income families to know this terminology and information. He offers explanations for supposedly sustainable eco-friendly fads and trends. Isaias’ website says that he believes that the climate crisis is an educational crisis. 

These young people are fighting across lines of  gender and race that have existed for generations. The time is now to embrace the fact that our future is queer and beautiful.

For more about these young leaders:

X Gonzalez

Caspani, Maria. “Your Voice Matters, Says Activist X González.” US News & World Report , 2 Dec. 2021,

Inc., Monterey Hearst Television. “Parkland Shooting Survivor Describes Path to Activism.” KSBW, KSBW, 11 June 2022,

Schuyler Bailar

Menjivar, Jackie. “11 Young Activists Leading the Way for LGBTQ+ Equality.”,

“Schuyler Bailar.” PINKMANTARAY,

David Hogg

Richards, Zoe. “Activist David Hogg Removed from House Hearing on an Assault Weapons Ban.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 21 July 2022,

Andrew Roth, Michigan Advance October 1. “Parkland Shooting Survivor David Hogg: Stop Conflating Racism with Mental Illness  ⋆ Michigan Advance.” Michigan Advance, 1 Oct. 2022,

Gavin Grimm

“Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board.” American Civil Liberties Union,

Ashton Mota

Ashton.mota. “Massachusetts Affirmed My Humanity as Black Latinx Trans Teen.” INTO, 13 Nov. 2018,

Debi. “Celebrating Black History Month: Meet Ashton Mota.” Trans Families, 16 Feb. 2021,

Isaias Hernandez

Valk, Steve. “Pride Month: A List of LGBTQ+ Climate Activists You Should Know About.” Citizens’ Climate Lobby, 14 June 2022,

“My Story.” Queer Brown Vegan, 28 Mar. 2022,

Jack Petocz

Ross, Nikki. “5 Things to Know about Jack Petocz, Flagler Student Suspended for Handing out Pride Flags.” Daytona Beach News-Journal Online, The Daytona Beach News-Journal, 4 Mar. 2022,

LGBTQ History Month Week 2: REBELLION

Queer History is often not talked about prior to the 1969 Stonewall Riots. However, stories of protests and riots for LGBTQ+ rights have been kept alive by queer and trans novelists and historians, like John Rechy and Susan Stryker. A rich history of rebelling against harassment and violence has existed far before the 1970s. 

This Timeline of 5 Queer Rebellions in California: 1950-1970 details the events from the Cooper Donuts Riot, the Compton Cafeteria Riots, the Black Cat Tavern Riots, the Patch Bar Flower Protest, and the Biltmore Invasion. Each individual event has helped to build the legacy of Queer acts of rebellion against violence, discrimination, and pathologizing that are still happening today. Tune in next week for our QHM Topic: Resistance, which will highlight some current queer activists and issues.

Links for further reading and lesson plans:

Cooper Donuts:

Compton Cafeteria – Screaming Queens Documentary:

Black Cat Riots:

Patch Bar Flower Protest: 

Biltmore Invasion:

LGBTQ History Month Week 1: JUSTICE

While queer people and queer families have always existed, in the United States, World War II served as catalyst for queer people to live more authentic lives. Because the military provided a means for people to move away from farms and small towns into sex-segregated environments, away from the scrutiny and judgment of their communities, there was a newfound opportunity to explore queer identity. Historian John D’Emilio refers to this period as “a nationwide coming out experience.” Even people who had previously only been in heterosexual relationships found themselves in homoromantic relationships. For some, as this allowed them to be more true to themselves, they opted to remain away from their communities in order to maintain their identities. Others returned home and still kept their newfound identities. And some of those people that had families with children separated from their spouses but still wanted to raise their children. As a result, a more pronounced rhetoric around queer people being anti-family and anti-American was born out of this period and persisted for decades to come which resulted in President Eisenhower passing Executive Order 10450 that criminalized queerness as “sexual perversion” preventing queer people from holding a job with the federal government. Of course, this order influenced the public’s view of queerness and it became even more acceptable to discriminate, withhold resources, and even perpetrate violence against queer people.

Queer people with families, including queer people who did not start their families through heterosexual relationships, were targeted as being unfit for being parents. From the early 1950s through the 1990s, queer parents were in danger of losing custody of their children. Several different groups developed from this period to address this issue, one of which was the Lesbian Rights Project out of the Berkeley Law Foundation. The Lesbian Rights Project focused on issues such as custody, adoption, access to public accommodations, and employment. In 1977, Donna Hitchens along with other members from the Equal Righs Advocates, helped start the project which, when it was able to become independent in 1988, became the organization known as the National Center for Lesbian Rights that continues to fight for queer liberation today.

Another radical organization supporting queer families, Dykes and Tykes was founded in 1976 by Carole Martin, a lesbian mother who had exited a heterosexual relationship several years prior. While co-parenting with her partner, Inez, Martin formed Dykes and Tykes in response to the need for community support for lesbian mothers in New York City who held custody of their children. After seeing how many queer parents needed legal support in fighting for custody rights, Dykes and Tykes pivoted to provide ongoing legal assistance to lesbian mothers facing custody battles. The organization, whose membership included radical feminist and writer Audre Lorde, held an intersectional, anti-racist lens that saw the struggles of race and class as intimately connected, and advocated for universal abortion access, the removal of antigay judges, and the end of discrimination against poor women, women of color, and queer parents in family court and foster & adoption placements, among other policies and practices to foster a more just and equitable world.

The legal advocacy undertaken by queer family organizations in the 1970s set the stage for an organized movement for codified rights for queer and trans people in the United States whose legacy continues today.

Further reading:

Daniel Winunwe Rivers, Radical Relations: Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, and Their Children in the United States Since World War II. Chapel Hill, North Carolina, The University of North Carolina Press. 2013


It’s LGBTQ History Month this October, and we’re excited to take y’all on a journey through queer history. Each week, the Education Team at OFC will bring you moments in LGBTQ history related to JUSTICE, REBELLION, RESISTANCE, and JOY – stay tuned this week as we jump into our first: JUSTICE. 

Seeking Teachers to Write Distance Learning LGBTQ History Lessons

Sponsored by: Our Family Coalition / ONE Archives Foundation
Apply by October 20. Complete the application form.
Send a copy of or link to your resume to: [email protected] 

We are looking for 3 lesson plan writers and 3 lesson plan reviewers to create lessons that align with the LGBTQ history in the California History Social Science Framework that can be taught online via distance learning. Each lesson plan must be in a common format. We are looking for lesson writers so that when completed, we have one lesson plan for elementary, middle and high school. This project is funded through the CLIC History Social Science project. Other educators are writing other distance learning lesson plans at the same time.

Writer / Reviewer Requirements: Currently teaching in California

Lesson Topics Requested:

Grades 4-5: Focus on Native Americans/ Two-Spirit people, preferably focused on a California tribe. 
See HSS Framework, Chapter 7, Grade 4, pp. 71-72;  or Chapter 8, Grade 5, pp. 96-98. 

Grade 8:  Focus on slavery (family life or Reconstruction after the Civil War) or the Fourteenth Amendment. 
See HSS Framework, Chapter 12, Grade 8, pp. 269-270. 

Grade 11: Focus on the Harlem Renaissance or some aspect of the 1950s (Lavender Scare).
See HSS Framework, Chapter 16, Grade 11, pp. 392-393.  Or p. 41-411. 


Timeline and Scope of Work 

  • November 1: Lesson Writers Selected. Lesson writer determines lesson topic. 
  • December 1: Draft lessons reviewed and feedback submitted by reviewers.
  • December 15: Lesson reviewer completes review and consults with coordinators
  • January 15: Lesson completed 
  • January: Complete joint webinar to talk about the lessons / recording. 

– Lesson Writer: $600
– Lesson Reviewer: $200

More Info / Contact People/Coordinators: 

Rob Darrow (consultant) – [email protected] 
Erik Adamian (ONE Archives Foundation) – [email protected] 
Rick Oculto (Our Family Coalition) – [email protected]

Apply by October 20. Complete the application form.
Send a copy of or link to your resume to: [email protected]

LGBTQ History Month Resources – Oct 2020

LGBTQ History Month is every October. Join the fun!

See all of the October 2020 LGBTQ+ Month Events


Rick: [email protected]
Erik: [email protected]
Rob: [email protected]

Inclusive Online Spaces Webinar – Sept. 10

Are you wondering how to make your online space inclusive for all students and especially for LGBTQ+ students? Join us for this webinar on September 10 to hear our promising practices. We will be discussing our recently released document, “Diversity Practices for Teaching Online (2020)”. Also hear about our plans to celebrate LGBTQ History Month 2020 and how you can participate. Register here for the September 10 workshop – 3:30-4:30.

Prior publications you may find useful: