20 July 2011

History Should Be Honest

That’s what Governor Jerry Brown said, as California passed legislation to require the inclusion of LGBT history in social studies classes.

Brown also said that: "This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books."

The very definition of America has been crafted by some of our LGBT brothers and sisters. How about:
  • Andy Warhol: we can still thank him for our uniquely American obsession with commodities and celebrities.
  • Greg Louganis, who won 4 gold medals, and was named Athlete of the Year for 1988 by ABC’s Wide World of Sports. I remember EVERYONE, everywhere you went all that summer, talking about his concussion-inducing fall from the diving board, and his subsequent comeback for the gold medal.
  • Tennessee Williams: his plays and the actors who brought his characters to life are indelibly American.
  • Oliver Sipple patriotically foiled an assassination attempt by Sara Jane Moore on President Gerald Ford.
  • Langston Hughes defined Harlem in the Jazz Age, two uniquely American institutions.
  • Billie Jean King: so good that she beat a man at own game in the Battle of the Sexes.
  • Aaron Copland: called "the Dean of American composers", known for a sound that evokes our American landscape and spirit.
  • Robert Reed, who portrayed Mike Brady, a very American Dad.
  • Mark Bingham: a passenger on Flight 93 on September 11th, part of the group who stormed the cockpit and crashed the plane rather than allowing the terrorists to complete their mission, he allegedly said the famous words “Let’s roll”.
It will be nice to have them, and others like them--us--acknowledged.

History should be honest.

-Maura McGurk

Maura makes artwork about issues related to the LGBT/queer/gay experience, especially gay bullying. Take a stand against gay bullying by checking out her work, liking it on Facebook, or commenting on her blog.

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