Live History, Learn History
History is not something that belongs solely to those who lived it. When we share, discuss, and celebrate our community’s history across every generation, we not only preserve the legacy of those who came before us but become better equipped to make the decisions that lay ahead.
As the past year has shown us all, living through history is not always as glamorous as the textbooks make it sound. But this was not our elders’ first pandemic. They know what it means to take care of their own during a public health crisis, so we turned to them for wisdom and strength. We connected SAGE participants with LGBTQ+ youth artists to share a meaningful conversation about strength, community, and coming together through difficult times. The artists captured these sentiments in a custom piece of art that the elders were gifted at the end of the project – the results were breathtaking.
Art is a powerful medium for social change, as is technology. With help from our partners at Dell and GenderCool, we utilized technology to create a new space for connection between transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) youth champions advancing the fight for equality today and SAGE elders who have been activists since the night of the Stonewall Uprising. GenderCool champion Kai put it just right: “we’re never alone in this community, there will always be people alongside me to help fight for equal rights in the future.”
These intergenerational connections stand as a powerful example of how our community’s history is inextricably tied to our future, and how each generation must pass our experiences, wisdom, failures, and successes on to those who are taking up the torch.
This LGBTQ+ History Month, we are lifting up the elders who continue to share their stories, as well as the younger generations who are listening and asking questions. We are highlighting the incredible pioneers who started the movement for equality, and the new generation of artists, activists, leaders, and change-makers who are taking up the torch. We are reminding our community of the struggle that our pioneers faced and the sacrifices they made, and we are looking toward the future to see how these lessons learned can lead our community to even greater victories.
Whether you spend this month reading about our community icons, watching a documentary on the struggle for equality, attending an event, or talking to an elder about their personal experience, we invite you to join us this October as we live history and learn history, together.