Artwork by Lea M.

By: Emma B.

On June 4th, 2005, Jean O’Leary,  LGBTQ+ activist and founder of the Lesbian Feminist Liberation, passed away leaving an impressive legacy behind her. Initially wanting to be a nun, she left her convent and cemented her place in LGBTQ+ history. This legacy is incredibly vast, but her most well known contribution was the creation of National Coming Out Day along with Dr. Robert H. Eichberg. This holiday is also in the middle of LGBT+ history month and would normally have a host of events surrounding it. However, the circumstances behind the pandemic have made that incredibly difficult. Additionally, the pandemic has also made various other pride-related celebrations (that would have happened in June) incredibly limited. The staff of the Lime Green Giraffe wanted to do something to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. As such, we created a special Lime Green Giraffe LGBTQ+ edition!

We hope this special edition starts a discussion. Nobody knows everything, and everyone starts somewhere. We hope for those who are just starting to learn about the LGBTQ+ community, this edition can help you learn the basics. For those who know more about the LGBTQ+ community and its history, we hope this edition can be a springboard for further discussion. In this edition, you’ll find a few articles on basic terminology as well as the history of the LGBTQ+ community. The staff members writing these articles have done their research, to better understand the various experiences of people within the community. We have tried our best to do research when we aren’t writing from personal experience. Our goal with this edition is to promote an environment of tolerance and acceptance. 

Eventually, we also want to promote the discussion of various LGBTQ+ issues within our culture. In spite of the strides made by the LGBTQ+ community, many of the issues they face are still under discussed. For example, many people still don’t include transgender and other gender non-conforming individuals when talking about people who menstruate. Another example is that many people, even with knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community, don’t know what asexual people are, or many of the (especially female) icons of LGBTQ+ history. 

As a magazine run by girls, for girls, these issues matter deeply to us. Education about the various problems that LGBTQ+ people face is rare. Education about women and gender non-conforming people on the LGBTQ+ spectrum is even rarer. These resources should be more widely accessible, and easier to find for people who are curious. That’s why this issue is so important to us. The Lime Green Giraffe wasn’t created to represent one type of woman, it was created to represent all young women. Whether they be cisgender, transgender, or something in between - we want to support you. 

We hope this edition can help you engage in LGBTQ+ history and learn about figures like Jean O’Leary who are often ignored by history. Above all though, we hope this edition can be a space of kindness. The world is often cold, and we hope this edition can bring some joy. 

You can read all of the articles in this special issue by clicking here.

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