Why our queer history matters
In the UK, the month of February is designated as LGBT History Month.
In the US and Canada, LGBT History Month is celebrated in October of each year to coincide with National Coming Out Day. The UK focuses on February as it aligns with the 2003 abolition of Section 28 – government legislation that prevented teachers and schools from discussing LGBT issues.
Why have a history month?
It’s important for us to be aware and respectful of our history at all times, but having a dedicated point of the year where we focus on the history of our community helps us all to focus our energy on events and activities that celebrate and showcase key people and milestones from our past.
For much of our history, LGBT people have had to hide who we are, to conceal our identities and our sexuality. Dedicating a month to celebrating our history is a small step to try and rectify some of the harm that this has done.
One of the contributing causes of homophobia is ignorance – we need to show the world who LGBT people are, to celebrate the contribution that we make, and to demonstrate that we are an integral part of society.
How can I take part in LGBT history month?
There’s no limit on how you can celebrate LGBT history month. Here’s a couple of suggestions.
Read up on some of the key historical moments in our history. Make sure that you understand how the law has changed over time. Research some of the key people who have been leaders of our community.
Share information with your wider networks. Use your social media to promote relevant information about LGBT history. Put up some posters at work. Let your friends and family know that history month is important to you.
Celebrate LGBTQ culture
Watch a queer film. Read a queer book. Go to a queer play. Connect with your queer friends. Log-on to Gaydar and set up a date.
In years gone by, these things weren’t possible or had to be hidden. By simply celebrating LGBTQ culture, you’re paying respect to the people who have fought for equality and the freedom to be ourselves.