LGBT+ History Month

LGBT+ History Month

Celebrated each year in the month of February (in the UK), LGBT+ History Month has gained increased publicity and awareness thanks to positive messaging and growing support.

Here, you can read all you need to know about the event, including an explanation of its acronym, what the event is, how it all started, what Section 28 was, why the event is important and what this year’s theme is.

Of course, we’ll also sprinkle in some useful website links and content-rich resources to complement our writing on this inspirational event.

What Is LGBTQ+?

LGBTQ+ is the acronym referring to all gender identities, expressions, orientations and variations in sex characteristics that are not cisgender or heterosexual, or don’t fit within the male/female biological binary. The letters stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and anything else that falls under the definition.

  • L stands for lesbian.
  • G stands for gay.
  • B stands for bisexual.
  • T stands for transgender.
  • Q stands for queer/questioning.
  • + represents any other gender identities, expressions, orientations and variations in sex characteristics that are not cisgender or heterosexual, or don’t fit within the male/female biological binary.

The word queer was originally used as a slur for LGBTQ+ people, but has since been reclaimed by some members of the community. Someone whose gender identity or orientation does not correspond to traditional ideas of sexuality and gender may identify as queer. The term may be used differently by different people.

Someone who is in the process of exploring their sexual and/or romantic orientation or gender identity might say they are questioning it/them. Someone could be considering whether they are LGBTQ+, or whether their LGBTQ+ identity has changed. This is not something that should be decided or remarked upon by others.

Encourage students to explore the associative key terms with this exciting Card Sort.

LGBT+ History Month Card Sort

What Is LGBT+ History Month?

LGBT+ History Month is a month-long annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary and queer history, including LGBTQ+ rights and related civil rights movements. 

In the UK, it is celebrated in February each year, and is thought to be inspired by the 2003 repeal of Section 28. It was initiated in 2005 by Schools OUT UK, an LGBT+ education charity.

The aim of LGBT+ History Month is to teach people what the past has been like for the LGBTQ+ community, celebrate achievements and work for a fair, equal future where respect and kindness are shown to everyone. 

Celebrate the month by getting your classroom ready with our LGBT+ History Month Display Pack.

What Was Section 28?

Section 28, enacted in May 1988, was an amendment to the UK’s Local Government Act 1986.

The amendment stated that a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

The act was abolished in Scotland in 2000 and in the rest of the UK in 2003.

How Did LGBT+ History Month Start?

Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick, the co-chairs of Schools OUT UK, organised the event as part of a programme to educate young people about the issues faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community and to make schools inclusive for everyone, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. 

In 2005, Sue and Paul were expecting between 15 and 20 events to take place. An impressive 150-200 events actually took place, completely exceeding their expectations. LGBT+ History Month has taken place every February since then.  

What Is This Year’s Theme?

The theme for 2023 is Behind the Lens. It aims to shine a light on all people who are instrumental in creating TV and film; highlighting the work of LGBT+ people in these fields, past and present. The theme also links to how LGBT+ lives are portrayed in the media, compared to real-life experiences of LGBT+ people, past and present.

Why Is It Important to Celebrate LGBTQ+ History?

LGBTQ+ people have existed throughout all time. However, some of the many accomplishments and achievements of LGBTQ+ people are not known by people today due to them being ignored or left out.

By highlighting the existence of LGBTQ+ people in history and their accomplishments, we can celebrate the impact of their work and highlight the changes that still need to take place in the bid for equality.

Explore key events in LGBTQ+ history with this fascinating Timeline.

Useful Links

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