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Chris Colfer, Christine Jorgensen among icons for Equality Forum's 2012 LGBT History Month

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Equality Forum based in Philadelphia has announced the 31 Icons for its 2012 annual LGBT History Month in October. Here's the news release:

“The 217 Icons, including the 31 Icons for 2012, demonstrate the impressive and diverse international impact of the LGBT community,” stated Malcolm Lazin, founder of LGBT History Month and Executive Director of Equality Forum.

Icons are selected for their accomplishments in their field of endeavor, their status as a national hero or their significant contributions to LGBT equality.

LGBT History Month 2012 Icons

Roberta Achtenberg – Government

Gloria Anzaldua – Author

Ann Bannon – Author

Katherine Lee Bates – “America the Beautiful” Songwriter

Mary Bonauto – Lawyer

Glenn Burke – Athlete

Paul Cadmus – Artist

Truman Capote – Novelist

Chris Colfer – Actor

Kate Clinton – Comedian

Ramon Cortines – Educator

Marlene Dietrich – Actor

Jodie Foster – Actor/Director

Jean Paul Gaultier – Designer

Henry Gerber – Activist

Billy Haines – Actor

Mary Kay Henry – Labor Activist

Chris Hughes – Facebook Co-founder

Christine Jorgensen – Transgender Pioneer

Arthur Laurents – Playwright/Director

Don Lemon – News Anchor

Federico Garcia Lorca – Poet

Irshad Manji – Muslim Reformist

Katherine Miller – Activist

Holly Near – Singer

Rupaul – Entertainer

Pierre Seel – Holocaust Hero

Billy Strayhorn – Composer

Jon Stryker – Philanthropist

Tom Waddell – Gay Games Founder

Rev. Robert Wood – Gay Pioneer

Each day in October, an Icon is featured with a video, biography, bibliography, downloadable images and other educational resources. These resources will be available without charge to the media, educational institutions, organizations and the public at www.lgbtHistoryMonth.com.

Icons are nominated by organizations and the public and are selected by the LGBT History Month Co-chairs and approved by the Equality Forum Board of Directors. The LGBT History Month 2012 Co-chairs are Professor George Chauncey, Chair, History & American Studies Department, Yale University, and Professor Sue Rankin, Education and LGBT Studies, Penn State University.

The LGBT community is the only community not taught its history at home, in public schools or religious institutions.  LGBT History Month enhances self-esteem, provides role models and makes a civil rights statement of the LGBT community’s impressive national and international contributions.

Secretary Arne Duncan launched LGBT History Month 2010 at the U.S. Department of Education. Nancy Pelosi issued a proclamation for LGBT History Month 2011.

Equality Forum (www.equalityforum.com), a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus, coordinates LGBT History Month worldwide, produces documentary films, undertakes high-impact initiatives and presents annually the largest national and international LGBT civil rights summit.

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