On Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 7pm, Kevin Jennings will give a lecture about LGBT history in America. This lecture coincides with National LGBT History Month which takes place every October and National Coming Out Day which takes place October 11.
LGBT history did not start with Will & Grace, or even the fabled Stonewall Riots. LGBT people have always been a part of the American story and, in this lecture, Kevin Jennings (a co-founder of LGBT History Month and author of the first textbook on LGBT history, Becoming Visible) will give an overview of the LGBT experience in America, beginning with the "two-spirit" people of the pre-Columbian era and ending with today's vibrant LGBT movement.
A longtime leader in the LGBT movement, in 1988 Kevin created the first high school based Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club, leading him to found and lead the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) for 18 years. GLSEN grew the number of GSAs in the US from one in 1988 to over 6,500, with at least one in every state. Kevin has a long-standing interest in promoting awareness of LGBT history: in 1994 he was part of the founding committee for LGBT History Month, and also that year published the first book on the subject for young people (Becoming Visible). In 1997, a documentary he wrote and produced on LGBT history for young people, Out of the Past, won the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary. From 2012-2017, he worked as Executive director of the Arcus Foundation, a leading international funder of LGBT human rights work. Prior to that, he served as the Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe & Drug-Free Schools under President Obama. A Southbury resident, Kevin is the Executive Producer of the new documentary The Lavender Scare (which tells the story of the witch hunts for LGBT people that the federal government initiated during the McCarthy Era), the author/editor of seven books, and has given two other talks at the Southbury Public Library before, one on the history of immigration and another about his memoir Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son.
Like all Southbury Public Library programs, this presentation is free to attend and open to anyone regardless of town of residency. Registration is required. Please call 203-262-0626 ext. 130 to register.