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 an acronym which is used to represent a diverse range of sexual/gender identities, including anyone who is transgender and/or attracted to same/similar genders.

  • 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, sexual orientations and variations in sex characteristics that are not cisgender or heterosexual, or don’t fit within male/female biological binaries, including pansexual and two-spirit.

The word queer was originally used to cause offence to LGBTQ+ people but has since been reclaimed by the community to encompass any gender identity and/or sexual orientation which is not cisgender or heterosexual.

It is sometimes used to represent the complicated nature of gender and sexuality, that it can change over time and that it may not fit neatly into specific identities.

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?

This year’s theme for LGBT+ History Month is: Politics in Art: ‘The Arc Is Long’.

The theme is inspired by a Martin Luther King quote: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

The quote is thought to mean that although it is taking a long time, we are curving/moving towards social justice and fairness.

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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