Celebrate LGBT History Month with Owen Keehnen

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Did you know that on October 15, 1973 the National Gay Task Force (later the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) was announced? Or how about that October 12 marks the anniversary of the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard?

“As geeky as it sounds, it was so much fun to compile,” says author Owen Keehnen of his just released book The LGBT Book of Days.

The book’s foundation began four years ago when Keehnen was working on the formation of The Legacy Project. “[The Legacy Project] is all about reclaiming, celebrating and honoring LGBT worldwide history,” says Keehnen. “So much of the past, for whatever reasons, has been _straightened_ for historical or political or religious or educational or cultural purposes. That is a travesty. People glorify the heterosexuality of historical figures all the time, but when that person is LGBT the entire sexual nature of their life often disappears. I always talk about studying Gertrude Stein in school and never hearing it even mentioned that Alice B. Toklas was anything but a dutiful secretary.”

After compiling bios for nominees and actively gathering LGBT history facts for the project’s social media sites, Keehnen recognized the need for these moments in history to be readily available to the LGBT community. I just feel as a community all this stuff would be so convenient to have contained in one place,” explains Keehnen. 

Keehnen set The LGBT Book of Days up not as a timeline but as a book of days— beginning with January 1. His book is a chronological listing of all significant events that happened on a specific date in chronological order.

Releasing the text against the rapidly changing backdrop of history provides Keehnen the excitement to look forward to future editions. “The exciting thing is this book is constantly growing. So it was the sort of project where there had to be a specific cut-off date where I had to decide I was finished,” says Keehnen. “However, I’m planning on doing annual updates to The LGBT Book of Days as well, so this first edition is laying the foundation—and hopefully it is a solid one.”

The result, The LGBT Book of Days, is available now in digital formats for purchase on wildecity.com and Amazon.

Watch O&AN all month long for its LGBT History Month Coverage. For more information on The Legacy Project, please visit them on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow author Owen Keehnen on Twitter.