February is LGBT History Month in the UK (Black History Month as you’ll remember is October in the UK, and in February in the USA). It coincides with the abolition of Section 28 in 2003 (the law banning the promotion or publishing of materials seen to promote homosexuality in schools and by local authorities) and was first recognised in the UK in 2005.
LGBT History Month is intended as a means to raise awareness of and combat prejudice against the LGBT community while celebrating its achievement and diversity and making it more visible.
LGBT History Month has three taglines - 'Claiming our past. Celebrating our present. Creating our future.'
LGBT History month is important for a number of reasons, here are just three:
There are still 73 jurisdictions in the world that criminalise "private, consensual, same-sex sexual activity", according to Human Dignity Trust. 331 trans and gender diverse people were murdered in 20, according to group Transrespect.
LGBTQ+ identities have existed as long as humans have, but history books tend to either barely mention, completely ignore or deliberately erase LGBTQ+ people’s existence and contributions.
What does it do to children when their own identity is not reflected back at them? We read stories as children based on myths, parables and histories to inspire us to achieve often in spite of a character’s identity. Seeing people you identify with not just exist in history, but achieve and conquer huge feats impacts what a person feels they can achieve themselves.
Here are some articles you may want to read if you’re interested in finding out more about LGBT history month or LGBT people throughout history:
At MA we value and prioritize solidarity and equality for all people and are proud to be part of those who are supporting this important educational month, helping to raise the visibility of LGBT+ people, their experiences and history.