LGBTQ+ History Month was first celebrated in the UK in 2005. February was chosen to coincide with the abolition of Section 28 in 2003, a policy that had prohibited the “promotion” of homosexuality.
The month-long celebration was founded by Schools OUT UK - a steering group of teachers who were established after the sacking of a London educator who had been ‘outed’ to managers by a student, as a way to come together and show support.
There are many reasons why LGBTQ+ History Month is important. From schools to businesses, national to global politics, everyone benefits differently by taking a stand against prejudice. We all have a part to play in raising awareness of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community and combating it by celebrating those who have stood for change and helped shape our society.
Knowing about LGBTQ+ history gives us a better awareness of why LGBTQ+ people need their voices heard and the support of everyone around them. It will help you understand why and how we should all help to make the world a more inclusive, accepting place.
During this month, we will:
- Remember those across the world who live without rights
- Learn about historic LGBTQ+ figures and events
- Encourage inclusivity and understanding in the workplace
- Remember how far we have come in the fight for equality
- Build a better world for young LGBTQ+ professionals
This year’s theme
This month, we recognise the creativity, imagination, and innovation of LGBTQ+ creators throughout history based on this years’ theme, Politics in Art.
The theme references art in the national curriculum and celebrates the many achievements and contributions of LGBTQ+ artists. In the fight for equality, art has served as an emotive communicator and a representation of the LGBTQ+ community’s struggles against homophobia.
We have gone from homosexuality being punishable by imprisonment or death, banned from being taught in schools, and diagnosed as a mental illness, to being given equal marriage and adoption rights. Meanwhile, transgender people finally have the right to legally change their identity and Pride events across the country give LGBTQ+ people a place to feel included, heard, and valued.
This year, our staff network for LGBTQ+ individuals, Proud@NHG, would like to invite you to join our celebrations this month by remembering some key icons have that played a huge role in LGBTQ+ rights over the years. This includes activists such as Marsha P Johnson and Mark Ashton, intellectuals such as Sir Alan Turing, Oscar Wilde and so many more.
Your awareness and support of LGBTQ+ rights are one of the most effective ways to help make LGBTQ+ oppression history.
Let us know on social media who your LGBTQ+ icons are!