GVSU to host lecture on history of global LGBT rights movement
The LGBT rights movement has been around for years and continues to expand in the world today. To look into the history of what allowed the movement to spread globally, Grand Valley State University will be hosting Oklahoma State University Professor Laura Belmonte on Thursday, Nov. 16, to present a lecture on the history of the global LGBT rights movement.
The lecture, which will take place at 1 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center Pere Marquette Room, will focus on research into the history of the United States' global policy on HIV/AIDS, as well as the history of the international LGBT rights movement. This lecture is part of a series partially funded by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that strives to demonstrate the diversity of practitioners of history.
“Her topic struck a chord with a lot of people,” said Paul Murphy, professor of history at GVSU and co-coordinator of the program. Murphy shares a goal with the history department at the university to show the diversity of people who teach history. He also thinks the movement is an exciting and important topic that is still fresh in today’s world.
“It’s a transnational movement … that speaks to global human rights,” Murphy said. He believes it is an important topic to learn about due to how it encompasses the entire world and focuses on the people who participated. However, according to Murphy, there is still much to be learned about the movement and its origins.
“I’ll be curious to see how far the roots go back,” Murphy said.
As a professor of history and head of the history department at OSU, Belmonte is also an expert on the history of U.S. foreign relations and cultural diplomacy. She is currently working on a book, and her research of the LGBT rights movement is part of this larger project.
Human rights has always been an interest of Belmonte’s. The LGBT rights movement in particular is something that she feels drawn to, as she has been an activist in the movement for years. It is something that has even inspired her to start writing her book, which focuses on the history of the movement and the original activists.
“This is something I have been interested in writing about for a long time,” Belmonte said. She hopes that her book will help to fill the gap in the literature on this topic. Throughout her lecture, she plans to provide a background on the story of the movement. She will also provide a look into why this disjuncture between the movement and the government occurred and still occurs in some parts of the world today. She thinks it is important for people to continue to learn about the movement’s history.
“This is still very much happening today," Belmont said. "It is a part of an ongoing story of human rights."
The lecture will provide a way for students to learn more about the movement and how the issues of equality and human rights are still present today, here and in the rest of the world.
“While she is addressing a global movement, this is very much (an) issue in our society,” Murphy said. He expects the lecture will provide an international perspective on the movement for students of all disciplines to learn from.
Belmonte’s lecture is open to anyone who is interested, and there is no fee to attend. The event is LIB 100- and 201-approved.