LGBT+ History Month – Where It Began

LGBT Pride Flag

LGBT+ History Month is an annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and non-binary history, including the history of LGBT+ rights and the related civil rights movements. As an annual event, which runs every February in the UK, it helps those who identify as part of the community claim their past, celebrate their present and create their future. This is a brief history of how it started, who was involved and how you can get involved with this year’s events and activities.

The Beginning of LGBT+ History Month

The origins of the LGBT+ History month began in the 1990s in the USA with the month brought to the UK in 2005. February was chosen to coincide with abolition of Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act in 2003. The first year saw between 150 to 200 events held over the course of the month exceeding all expectations and this number has grown year on year. A badge to commemorate each year can be seen in the picture below.

rows of LGBT+ History Month badges

Who started LGBT+ History Month?

Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick organised the first LGBT+ History Month as part of the Schools OUT UK project. Schools OUT is an education charity that began life as The Gay Teachers Association in 1974. The project has continued since then to educate young people about issues facing members of the LGBT+ community and to make schools feel inclusive for everyone, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Tony Fenwick joined the team to be co-chair and then later CEO. Sanders, Patrick and Fenwick have all been commended for their commitment to promoting LGBT+ issues and striving for a more inclusive school experience.

What events are happening?

Charities such as the local Glaswegian charity OurStory Scotland strive to use LGBT+ History Month to rescue the culture, history and support inherited from the community in Scotland. The month is celebrated in schools, colleges and universities as well as in communities across the UK every year. This year’s theme is Body, Mind and Spirit and despite the pandemic many organisations are still holding events virtually throughout the month. Have a look at the digital calendar from LGBT History Month Scotland here. OUTing the Past is another company which support events about LGBT+ History Month. You can find more information about the virtual symposium the company are hosting here.

Public rally with a large LGBT+ rainbow flag that says 'born this way'

StrathUnion have affiliated societies such as, the LGBT+ Society and Trans and Non-binary Society.   As well as non-executive officers which work to support and represent the LGBT+ student community here at Strathclyde. You can find the contact information for the societies here and check out the non-exec officers here.

We are also running some events this month that you might be interested in, including a Crafternoon and an Open Mic!

You can find lots of useful links to organisations and charities in Scotland the UK which provide resources or support here.  You can view the local Glaswegian charity OurStory Scotland for their ‘Diverse Histories of Scotland’ timeline here to learn more about key events in LGBT+ history.

Written by student journalist Emily
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