Today, Tuesday 1 February, marks the beginning of LGBT+ History Month in the UK, after Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick, co-chairs of LGBTQ+ charity Schools OUT, first initiated the event in 2005.
This is everything you need to know – from what the month is all about, and how you can get involved.
What is LGBT+ History Month?
LGBT+ History Month is the month celebrating the achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other orientations under the LGBT+ umbrella throughout history.
It is organised by the UK LGBT+ charity called Schools OUT, and was first coined in 2005.
Schools OUT explains that the “overall aim of LGBT+ History Month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public”.
This is achieved through things like:
- Increasing the visibility of LGBT+ people and their history, lives and experiences in school curriculums and the wider community
- Raising awareness and advancing education on matters affecting the LGBT+ community
- Working to make educational and other institutions safe spaces for all LGBT+ communities
- Promoting the welfare of LGBT+ people by ensuring that the education system recognises and enables LGBT+ people to achieve their full potential
When is LGBT+ History Month?
LGBT+ History Month is celebrated all around the world, however across the globe it is celebrated during different months of the year.
In the UK, LGBT+ History Month is celebrated in February every year in order to coincide with the 2003 abolishment of Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act.
Section 28 was a piece of legislation that was introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s administration which stated that local authorities were not allowed to “intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality”.
The first LGBT+ History Month in February 2005 saw more than 150 events be organised around the UK and from there has grown every year.
What’s the theme this year?
The theme for LGBT+ History Month 2022 is “Politics in Art”.
Schools OUT explains: “A popular slogan of the early Gay Rights Movement (the idea of the ‘LGBT’ community was some way off) of the time was “the personal is political”, and art is probably the most individual of pastimes.
“So it seemed logical, as we have a National Curriculum link to our theme every year, to choose Art for 2022.”
The organisation then looked for five artists, one to represent each facet of the LGBT+ community, who had used their art for political reasons or who had expressed their sexuality through their work.
The artists selected are for the Five Faces for 2022 are:
- Keith Haring
- Doris Brabham Hatt
- Fiore de Henriquez
- Jean-Michel Basquiat
- Mark Aguhar
How can I get involved?
There are loads of events taking place around the UK to celebrate LGBT+ History Month throughout February, both in person and online.
Some events taking place includes:
You can also donate to Schools OUT as well to help provide more LGBT+ resources, training and services to schools and educational institutions.
You can do so by visiting the LGBT+ History Month website and hitting the donate button. You can choose to donate just a one off or you can set up a standing order for regular donations instead.
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