GLBT History Month Starts Today!Eric Alva

Starting today, October 1, and continuing every day in October, an Icon representing an important individual in the ongoing struggle for LGBT rights or a historical person who was LGBT, openly or not, will be featured on the Web site

Each icon will be highlighted with a video, bio, bibliography, downloadable images, and other educational resources - all free of charge.


The first Icon for 2010 is Eric Alva, the first American soldier wounded in the Iraq War. He was also the first recipient of a Purple Heart from the Iraq War. Retired Staff Sergeant Alva is a GLBT civil rights activist and a national spokesperson for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

In 2003, on the first day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Alva was with his battalion in Iraq when he stepped on a land mine. The explosion shattered his right arm and damaged his right leg so severely it had to be amputated. He received a medical discharge and was presented with a Purple Heart by President George W. Bush. He was the Iraq War’s first Purple Heart recipient.

Having survived a war injury, Alva felt he’d been given a second chance at life. He discovered a new calling. “I had to use my voice,” he says. “I had fought and nearly died to secure rights for others that I was not free to enjoy. I had proudly served a country that was not proud of me.”

Other Icons for the first week in October include groundbreaking agricultural scientist George Washington Carver, and George Eastman, considered the father of modern photography and founder of the Eastman Kodak Company.George Washington Carver

The web site is being hosted by Equality Forum, who is coordinating GLBT History Month. 2010 marks the 5th Anniversary of GLBT History Month and Equality Forum has created commemorative resources for GLBT History Month 2006 to 2010, including a special edition 5th Anniversary Poster. 

All 5th Anniversary resources are available on the site. You can share Icon videos on your favorite social networking site or embed the videos on your Web site or blog. Once embedded, the video player automatically updates with that day's featured Icon. 

The resources for the 124 icons from GLBT History Month 2006 to 2009 are archived on the site and with the 31 Icons for 2010 can be used to create a GLBT History Month exhibit.


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