What is LGBT+ History Month?

University of Reading members at Reading Pride

LGBT+ History Month takes place in February each year. The month is an opportunity to connect and reflect on the past and present of the LGBT+ community, celebrate LGBT+ culture and progress towards equality over time, while exploring the lessons history can teach us.

The history of LGBT+ History Month

LGBT+ History Month first started in 2005. It was founded by Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick. In 2004 Sanders and Patrick were co-chairs of Schools OUT UK, an educational charity that aims to make schools safe and inclusive for everyone. Together they started LGBT+ History month to celebrate the LGBT+ communities diversity and achievements.

The month was also created to increase the visibility of the LGBT+ community’s history and stories. On the 18 November the Section 28 Act was repealed in England and Wales (in Scotland the Section 2A act had been repealed in 2000). Section 28 was a law that prevented local authorities from promoting homosexuality, meaning schools could not include the subject in any lessons. With this law in place LGBT+ History could not be taught in schools.

Once Section 28 had been removed Sanders and Patrick approached the UK Government and were given funding for the first two years of LGBT+ History Month. A website was built with an interactive calendar to highlight events taking place. Over 200 schools got involved in the campaign and the teaching resources that were provided by Schools OUT UK, and hundreds of events took place across the UK.

Since then the popularity of LGBT+ history month has continued to grow. In 2019 over 17,000 events were recorded to have taken place across the UK. The calendar of events taking place across the UK this year is available on the LGBT+ History Month website.

LGBT+ History Month 2023: Behind the Lens

The theme for this year’s LGBT+ History Month is #Behindthelens. It will celebrate LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to cinema and film from behind the lens. Directors, cinematographers, screen writers, producers, animators, costume designers, special effects, make-up artists, lighting directors, musicians, choreographers and beyond.

You can find out more about this year’s theme, and access resources on the LGBT+ History Month website.

LGBT+ History Month events on campus

  • • On the 6 February RUSU will be holding their termly bi-inclusion workshop. This session is designed to break down unconscious biases and help build an inclusive environment. This workshop is open to staff and students and will be held online. You can sign up to this event via their website.
  • On the 9 February RUSU will be hosting LGBT+ colouring in the wellbeing hub (located in Upper 3Sixty).

Make sure to also check out the Student Life Event page for LGBT+ events taking place across the University’s campuses!

Further information and resources

Make sure to also check out our Student Life channels for LGBT+ History Month blogs and content throughout February!

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