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LGBT+ History Month is an annual month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. It was founded in the USA in 1994 by a high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson from Missouri.

In the UK, LGBT+ History Month provides role models, builds community, and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community, and as in previous years it's linked to a school National Curriculum subject.

Schools OUT UK - The LGBT+ Education Charity is the founding organiser of LGBT+ History Month UK which has three taglines - 'Claiming our past. Celebrating our present. Creating our future.'

The event takes place every February to coincide with the anniversary of the abolition of Section 28 in 2003. The history month is intended to raise awareness of, and combat prejudice against the LGBT community while celebrating its achievement and diversity and making it more visible.

Section 28 was part of the Local Government Act 1988, which 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 resultant effect of this was teachers and other school staff became fearful of doing what they knew and felt to be the right thing. This fear was further exacerbated by some factions of society and the media through misrepresentation, which in turn meant that same-gender relationships were simply not discussed or visible in our schools.

Of course lesbian, gay and bisexual young people have always existed in the world and, therefore, in our classrooms. However, because of this law, they did not see themselves reflected in the education they were receiving and did not have the language to describe their own experiences.

Section 28 was abolished in 2003, and twenty years on from this, we find ourselves moving increasingly towards the right side of history. For many more schools than ever before, positive and inclusive education around lesbian, gay and bisexual lives and identities is just part and parcel of teaching all students about the world they actually live in. Furthermore, we’re learning to embrace lesbian, gay and bisexual young people as valued, included and visible, simply part of the rich diversity of any (school) community, with more freedom than ever to explore this element of who they are. However, as OutUK reported just last week even now there are those backing a parliamentary petition to stop the teaching of relationships and families that are based on anything other than one mother and one father.

The LGBT+ History Month 2023 is of theme of "Behind The Lens" and celebrates LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to cinema and film. The stories of directors, cinematographers, screen writers, producers, animators, costume designers, special effects, make up artists, lighting directors, musicians, choreographers and beyond are all included in the month of events and film screenings.
LGBT+ History Month 2023 badge.
At a time when LGBT+ lives are in the media they are also encouraging you to look ‘Behind the Lens’ and listen to LGBT+ peoples’ lived experiences.

There is a series of films that are being shown for LGBT+ History Month 2023 at the Cinema Museum in London. Five evenings of films directed by LGBTQ+ filmmakers:

  • 9th February - It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives (1971) – the German film by Rosa von Praunheim that kickstarted the (West) German gay liberation movement
  • 16th February - An Evening of Shorts by Rosie Adamson-Clark, London
  • 23rd February - A Woman Is A Woman, a film by transgender filmmaker Mimi Wong, Hongkong
  • 2nd March - An Evening of Shorts by Krissy Mahan, New York
Each evening will start at 7pm with a short intro, followed by the film(s) plus Q/A and discussion with the filmmakers and time for networking, closing by around 10pm.

The LGBT+HM website has several banners, twitter, facebook and instagram items and images which you can download and send on friends and colleagues.

One of many Facebook items for LGBT+ HM 2023.

The overall aim of LGBT+ History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public. This is done by:

  • Increasing the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT+”) people, their history, lives and their experiences in the curriculum and culture of educational and other institutions, and the wider community;
  • Raising awareness and advancing education on matters affecting the LGBT+ community;
  • Working to make educational and other institutions safe spaces for all LGBT+ communities; and
  • Promoting the welfare of LGBT+ people, by ensuring that the education system recognises and enables LGBT+ people to achieve their full potential, so they contribute fully to society and lead fulfilled lives, thus benefiting society as a whole.

The Modern Pride Flag.
LGBT History Month is marked every February by schools, colleges and various organisations across the country, who seek to increase people's awareness of the LGBT+ community through education. The fact that so many young people nationwide take part shows just how vital it is.
Many different organisations are holding events to acknowledge LGBT+ Hostory Month and honour the history of the LGBT+ community, including educational talks, virtual art exhibitions, film screenings and readings in many venues throughout the UK.

You can follow LGBT+ History Month on Facebook to find more information and some podcasts, webinars and videos exploring LGBT+ history.


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