Introduction to LGBT History Packet
The creation of this history packet began with the staff at Gay
Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (GSAFE) recognizing the lack of
resources for teaching lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)
history in high schools. Our experience preparing to bring the
exhibition Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 from the United
States Holocaust Memorial Museum to Wisconsin in the fall of 2008
precipitated our interest in working with historians and teachers to
create a resource to assist educators in making LGBT history more
accessible to their students.
This packet is not all-inclusive of the wide array of people
and events making up the rich LGBT histories in the geographies we
cover, nor does it address LGBT world history beyond the United States,
Germany and the early cultures that influenced what later became
Germany. Here, we provide basic information about the following:
German LGBT History Timeline
Study Guide for U.S. LGBT History Timeline
U.S. LGBT History Timeline
Wisconsin LGBT Curricula and Timeline
In whatever teaching opportunities you find to use this
packet, we hope it will assist you in making LGBT history more visible.
In so doing we believe that one outcome will be for all students’
understanding of history to be enriched. We are also confident that
another outcome will be for sexual minority students and children of
same-sex parents to gain historical perspectives on discrimination they
may experience, diminishing any sense of invisibility they have so that
they may thrive more academically.
The packet begins with a German LGBT timeline from 98 to 2008.
The second part includes a U.S. LGBT History timeline, biographies,
a bibliography, lesson plans, and questions to stimulate discussion.
The last section is on Wisconsin LGBT history and includes a timeline
and lesson plans.
On behalf of the staff and board of Gay Straight Alliance for
Safe Schools, thank you to the volunteers who used their expertise to
help the staff create this history packet:
Pat Calchina, high school English/Lesbian History
teacher at James Madison Memorial High School, Madison, for her work on
the U.S. LGBT history section with the GSAFE staff.
Mary Mullen, retired elementary school and high school
teacher and published curriculum writer, for developing lesson plans for
the U.S. and Wisconsin sections.
Jim Steakley, UW-Madison German Dept., for creating a timeline of German LGBT history.
Richard Wagner, Wisconsin historian and former chair of the
Dane County Board of Supervisors, for creating a timeline of Wisconsin
We also thank the Public Broadcasting System and Eliza Byard,
acting executive director of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education
Network, for the use of the U.S. LGBT history timeline developed by
Eliza Byard and to which GSAFE staff made additions.
Finally, thank you for your interest in LGBT history and dedicated work as school professionals and as students of history.
Cindy Crane Brian Juchems Tim Michael
Executive Director Program Director Program Assistant
Note about the period of Nazi Persecutions and the Holocaust:
Along with homosexuals, the Nazis persecuted Poles and other
Slavic peoples; political opponents--primarily Communists, Socialists,
Social Democrats, and trade union leaders; writers and artists whose
works they considered subversive; Catholic, Lutheran and other Christian
church leaders who opposed Nazism, as well as thousands of Jehovah's
Witnesses who refused to salute Adolf Hitler or to serve in the German
army; and people with disabilities. See U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
The word “Holocaust” is used to refer to the murder of Jews
for whom the Nazis planned a systematic genocide in Europe (the word
genocide itself developed after the Holocaust). “The Nazis frequently
used euphemistic language to disguise the true nature of their crimes.
They used the term “Final Solution” to refer to their plan to annihilate
the Jewish people.” (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Website).
Sybil Milton, who was a leading scholar of Nazi Germany and
the Holocaust and a senior historian at the United States Holocaust
Memorial Museum until her death in 2000, maintained that Roma (formerly
known as gypsies) were part of the Holocaust. Including Roma in the
Holocaust is widely accepted today though still controversial in some
circles. Other groups not included in what the Nazis called the “Final
Solution” in their systemic plan to rid all of Europe of Jews and Roma,
but who were placed in prisons and concentration camps and murdered by
Nazi soldiers are referred to as “persecuted.”
Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools
Introduction to History Packet
German LGBT History
German LGBT History Timeline
U.S. LGBT History
U.S. LGBT Timeline-Students and Teachers
Noteworthy LGBT Americans of the Twentieth Century-Students and Teachers
U.S. Teacher Lesson
Wisconsin LGBT History
Wisconsin Timeline for Students
Student Timeline Guide
Student Timeline Record Sheet and Summary Chart
Wisconsin Timeline for Teachers
Wisconsin Lesson Plan
Wisconsin Teacher Key