LGBT History Month – check out this CBC video from 1959!

Happy October, which also happens to be LGBT History Month in North America.  LGBT History Month began in 1994, founded by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson who was concerned about the lack of LGBT issues in the education curriculum.

October was chosen by Wilson because National Coming Out Day already was established and well known, on October 11, and October commemorated the first march on Washington by queer activists in 1979. LGBT History Month is intended to encourage honesty and openness about being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Speaking of honest and openness.  I discovered this early pioneering video on the CBC’s digital archives website, titled,  Homosexuality in Canada: A psychiatric ‘problem’.”  The synopsis is as follows: “It’s 1959, and homosexuality is a topic few are willing to discuss. Like some of the people interviewed on the street in this CBC Television clip, many believe that homosexuals should be locked up. Most in the medical profession believe homosexuality is, at best, a psychiatric problem. But a gay man — interviewed in silhouette to protect his identity — says society has to get used to homosexuals, and not the other way around.”

The 27-minute documentary concludes with an interview of British lawyer, H.A.D. Oliver who concludes nobly, “We feel – many of us – that the homosexual who performs what to him is a natural act, in the privacy of his home, with other adults similarly inclined, does no harm to society.  He does not interfere with society, and why therefore should society interfere with him?”  Why indeed…

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