O’Donnell: Propelling empowerment


Celebration and communal cultivation is a practice the human race has performed since the commencement of its time here on Earth. As time has unfolded, the human legacy has become a culmination of wars, progression, revival, artistry, and destruction. The journey of humanity is one which has led people to acquire times of “remembrance” for events that are either positive, negative, or neutral, combined.

It is part of human behavior to remember things, venerating the past and those who created it. No wonder, then, is it that specific movements throughout the globe have been granted entire months of the calendar year in their honor.

In the United States, the month of October is officially deemed LGBT History month. During the month, educational resources, community outreach, and queer issues are brought to the forefront of many organizations. National Coming Out day will be observed on Oct. 11, which celebrates the difficult process for many queer individuals, coming out. Along with the LGBT History month, from mid-September to mid-October, the National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated. Later, in February, the U.S. observes Black History Month, highlighting the accomplishments, contributions, and importance of African Americans and other peoples of color in the U.S.

When these months, or celebrations such as this, occur, they are likely accompanied with criticisms of “why is there not a _____ month?” In reality, there are months that are not “existent” in the social-justice sphere that should be. But the very purpose of these months, and their emphasis of key figures of these movements, is to ensure the legacy of the humans who have fought to gain justice continue to have a voice in the modern social sphere. These months give a designated time of the year for the people who are part of the communities to have a sense of validation from their neighbors and nation as equal members under the law.

Affirming and supporting the legacy of traditionally marginalized groups can be done so without the notion that doing so somehow detracts from the history or legacy of the privileged majority. Equality is not a competition, and celebrating the pursuit of equality should not immediately conjure ideas of a false dichotomy between who is winning or losing.

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