3 Months ago by Jason Armstrong
February is LGBT+ History Month in the UK and has been since 2005, although its US roots go back to 1994. It aims to promote a positive understanding of the rights of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or define their sexuality in a myriad of other ways. Each year, LGBT+ History Month follows a theme. This year: Behind the Lens. This is the chance to support and celebrate film and cinema featuring and or created by people in the LGBT+ community. LGBT+ History Month is important because it highlights the freedom we in the community have today but acknowledges the struggles we have faced historically, and how much further the UK has to go.
Significant legal milestones in the UK include when homosexuality was decriminalised in 1967. Same sex couples achieved equal rights for adoption to straight couples in 2002. From 2004, same sex couples were able to have civil partnerships and in 2014, get married. The Equality Act ensured that people could not be discriminated against due to their sexuality and included sexual orientation in the list of protected characteristics.
Equal access to public services including employment and mental health support has made more explicit our professional principles of equality, diversity and inclusion in tackling inequality and injustice. It is essential that we support our colleagues and our clients, particularly if they have faced discrimination at work. The toll on mental health that homophobia, transphobia or any other forms of prejudice causes can be staggering. We spend a third of our lives at work, so let’s make sure we are providing a supportive working environment for everyone and calling out hate or intolerance when we see it.
And of course, you don’t have to be gay to support LGBT+ History Month! To be a good ally, get educated. Learn about the history in and outside of the UK. Support queer filmmakers and queer stories. Donate to LGBT+ charities. Go to an event (listed below) The support of allies is critical in helping our voices be heard.
Lastly, for the queer community, LGBT+ History Month is time to claim our past, celebrate our present and create our future. A great reminder that in the face of adversity, we have all got the capability to be the masters of our own destiny. Have a good February.
All events and more can be found over at Eventbrite which is located here
These are some events I would recommend!
Sugar Daddies & Sickle Cell Patients: Unpacking Evolution of Homosexuality – 9th Feb
Nobody’s Perfect: Reflections on LGBTQ+ Representation on Film – 15th Feb
Queer Britain: The First Year of our museum – 17th Feb
LGBTQ Film Day at the British Museum – 25th Feb
LGBT+ History Month Panel Discussion at Queer Britain – 26th Feb