LGBT History Month was created by Missouri high school history teacher Rodney Wilson in 1994. The General Assembly of the National Education Association, in 1995, passed a resolution that included LGBT History Month within a list of commemorative months. October was selected to coincide with National Coming Out Day and the first march on Washington for gay and lesbian rights in 1979. The month now also includes Oct. 20's Spirit Day, Ace Week, and the anniversary of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard’s murder in Oct. 1998, which led to 2009's Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Join OHIO's LGBT Center — part of the University's Division of Diversity and Inclusion — as it celebrates the history and achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people everywhere. The center wants to build off of the month in support of its Hodson Student Support Fund. This unique fund supports LGBTQ+ students who are writing their own histories on Athens' storied bricks—and beyond.
Celebrate the Month. Support LGBTQ+ Bobcats.
As you think about your own LGBTQ+ story and those of your friends and family, and celebrate your communities, remember there are students at Ohio University, first-years to super-seniors who are only beginning on their journeys. By making a gift to the Hodson fund, you're helping to set up a support system that some of these students will desperately need. Current and future LGBTQ+ students will see how amazing the Bobcat Family is when they learn that dozens of amazing people who don't even know them lined up to give of their own resources to help someone in Athens or regional campus community.
About Ohio University's Tom and Jan Hodson LGBT Student Support Fund
The Hodson LGBT Student Support Fund was established in 2013. Retired Honors Tutorial College Assistant Dean Jan Hodson and her husband Tom Hodson, Director Emeritus of the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism and WOUB Public Media, started this fund in response to interactions with students trying to come to grips with their own sexual and gender identities as well as fears related to telling their families.
The fund was created to offer support to LGBTQ+ students who experience financial hardship or crisis, often after coming out to their families and being cut off, making it difficult for them to continue their education or pay their rent. This one-time assistance fund, supported by fundraising campaigns like this one, also supports students experiencing acute financial hardship, such as challenges with purchasing textbooks.
The Hodson fund may also be used to support students who need to cover medical expenses, replace lost wages, or who need help while seeking to improve their health and wellbeing, perhaps with a name change or an emotional support or therapy animal.
LGBT Center Director Micah McCarey '07, '08 shared that the fund is used most when students encounter financial hardships, particularly those that are unexpected and are most commonly tied to their experiences as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Micah said, "When students come out and lose the financial support of their parents and guardians, their worlds are turned upside down and the little things become big things. Anything we [the Center, the University] can do to remove this burden, particularly financially while providing what other support we can, is important for us to do."
Every month, hundreds of students turn to the LGBT Center for community and support. Please give today to the Tom and Jan Hodson LGBT Student Support Fund during LGBT History Month so the Center can most help students when they lose the support of their families.