LGBTQ History Month – A Review!

Complied by:  Outlet Program staff in partnership with Youth Space 


In celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month, Outlet and the LGBTQ Youth Space have collaborated to celebrate and highlight important LGBTQ+ historical figures and their contributions to events that have positively impacted the LGBTQQ+ community worldwide.

Why is LGBTQ History Month Important?

It is a month to honor and recognize the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender [+ Queer, Questioning and other expansive sexual, romantic, and gender identities] community and its’ roots in history.  This month provides the opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community to see itself represented in popular and social media, books, television, film and other agents of culture on a larger scale.  This visibility is important because it validates and affirms the experience of the community, which has been historically driven by non-LGBTQ+ people who have relied upon a less than authentic portrayal.  Most importantly, LGBT[Q+] History month enlightens everyone in society about how to include all identities as part of the human experience.


Sylvia Rivera  |  1951-2002

“We were not taking any more of this…. We had done so much for other movements. It was time” – Sylvia Rivera.

Sylvia Rivera is a radical Puerto Rican drag queen, activist, transmujer, advocate, an revolutionary.  This mujer was up and center demanding respect and to be treated with dignity for herself and her community during the June 28th, 1968 Stonewall Inn Uprising. Rivera’s need to act came from the hostile climate of the 1960’s towards the gay and drag community, black and brown community, and women;  After Stonewall, she continued to be work as an advocate and activist rallying together with the likes of Marsha P. Johnson and the Young Lords* against racism, sexual violence, transphobia, and police brutality.

*Young Lords is a radical Puerto Rican youth group out of New York City in the early 1960’s.

For more information on Sylvia Rivera, visit the Sylvia Rivera Law Project:


Candice Boyce | 1943-2010

Candice Boyce was one of the founding members of the Salsa Soul Sisters, Third Wommin, Inc., the first black lesbian organization creates in 1974. Now called the African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change, it is currently the longest running black lesbian organization in America.  At the founding of the collective, Boyce noted that “there were no other places for a woman of color to sit and talk about what it means to be a black lesbian in America.”  This organization aimed to help and inspire third world gay women, give them a place to be represented, and to help “share in the strengthening and productivity of the whole gay community.”


“I am an activist, I am a warrior, but above all, I am compassionate. I have given myself to the struggle for black lesbian and lesbians of all colors and oppression everywhere.” – Candice Boyce

For more information on Candice’s contributions to the LGBTQ history, visit:



Lily Tomlin |  1939 –

Lily Tomlin is an American actress, comedian, writer, singer, and producer.  Tomlin began her stand-up career in Detroit in the early 1960’s.  She was the first woman to appear solo in a Broadway show, she has four Prime Time Emmy Awards, 2 Tony Awards, and a Grammy.  Tomlin is perhaps most known for her work on the sketch comedy show Laugh-In, starring in the 1980 film 9 to 5, and providing the voice for Ms. Frizzle on the Magic School Bus from 1994-1997.  Currently, Tomlin can be seen on the Netflix series Grace & Frankie. Tomlin executive produced and narrated the 1995 documentary “The Celluloid Closet”, which illustrated the history of portrayals of queer characters in film. It shed light on negative stereotypes commonly associated with LGBTQ+ communities that were (and continue to be) perpetuated by the media, and also the queer filmmakers who are looking to change that.She has been with her partner and frequent professional collaborator, Jane Wagner, since 1971. The couple wed in 2013.

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that.
Then I realized I was somebody.”

– Lily Tomlin

Get in on the discussion about LGBTQQ+ History Month at Outlet’s YouthRock Facebook page or the LGBTQ YouthSpace Facebook page!