What is LGBT+ History Month?
LGBT History Month is an annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history held during the month of February. Throughout this month UEA students, societies, schools and more will be hosting and promoting a series of events showcasing the depth and breadth of the LGBT+ community.
Although it has been celebrated in the US since 1994, LGBT+ History Month in the UK was started in 2005 by campaigners from the organisation School’s Out UK, who educate young people and teachers in LGBT awareness.
In the UK the event is held in February to coincide with the abolition of Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act. Section 28 was introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government and stated that local authorities were not allowed to "intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality". This meant schools felt they could not talk about sexuality and LGBT+ children and teenagers felt at best invisible and often suffering homophobic bullying and discrimination from students and staff, with no protection.
The idea of LGBT+ History Month is to raise awareness of the history of activism and LGBT+ community in the UK, particularly among young people and in education. Events now take place across the UK and online, including educational talks, film screenings and exhibitions in libraries and museums. You can find out more about national events at LGBT+ History Month and at the Outing the Past website. More locally your SU Officers have been working hard throughout lockdown to bring you a diverse and exciting programme of events in collaboration with UEA Staff Pride, Terence Higgins Trust and loads of brilliant SU societies and clubs. Find out more about our events below.
Finally check out our resources section if you are LGBT+ and are looking for support or want to learn more about the history of the community, or if you are an ally and want to learn more about how to support your LGBT+ family and friends.
What does LGBT+ mean?
LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. We add the ‘plus’ because there are many other ways in which people choose to define themselves that do not conform to straight and cisgender*. Because the labels people choose to describe themselves can be fluid and there are often new terms and identities being added, the ‘plus’ encompasses all of these other identities.
*The term used to describe someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth; the opposite to transgender.
Download our LGBT+ History Month 2021 Calendar
For more information on our LGBT+ History Month events, please head to uea.su/lgbt-history
Useful guides to language and definitions:
Info for Allies:
- https://mindout.org.uk/ - LGBT+ Mental health support
- www.stonewall.org.uk and www.youngstonewall.org.uk – campaigning and education organisation. If you need to talk to someone, you can also call the Stonewall information service on 08000 50 20 20
- www.theproudtrust.org/for-young-people – The Proud Trust are a charity who support LGBT+ youth
- Opening doors – Opening Doors London (ODL) is the biggest charity providing information and support services specifically for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT+) people over 50 in the UK
- www.fflag.org.uk – FFLAG are a national charity who are dedicated to supporting parents and their lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans children. As well as providing resources and information on their website, they also run a helpline (call 0845 652 0311 to speak to someone) and recommend books that can help parents and carers understand and properly support their LGBT+ child
Support for trans and gender-diverse people:
If you are questioning your gender identity, or want to learn more about what it means, you might also want to take a look at these sites:
- The Gender Trust – for all those affected by gender identity issues
- www.mermaidsuk.org.uk – Mermaids works with young people up to the age of 19, who feel at odds with the gender they have been assigned. They also work with parents and carers of young people going through these feelings. As well as reading information on their website, you can also call the Mermaids helpline on 0344 334 0550 (Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm) if you’d prefer to talk to someone. Mermaids also operates an emergency text service – if you need help now, text ‘Mermaids’ to 85258
- Mindline Trans+ is a UK-wide helpline run by and for trans, non-binary, gender-diverse and gender-fluid people. They offer a confidential and non-judgemental listening service – just call 0300 330 5468 (Monday & Friday, 8pm-midnight). The service is also available for friends and families of trans+ people in need of support and advice. Calls are occasionally answered by cisgender allies
- genderedintelligence.co.uk – Gendered Intelligence run projects for young people under the age of 21 who identify as trans. Their Knowledge is Power resource is a great place to start educating yourself about trans people and trans issues. They also have information for parents and families, as well as for adults who work with young people (such as teachers and youth workers)
Community and campaigning:
When you start to explore your sexual orientation and/or gender identity, it can be comforting – and really inspiring – to read perspectives and experiences from people in the same situation as you. Here are a few places to start:
- www.bgdblog.org – Black Girl Dangerous is an online magazine by and for queer and trans people of colour. The site is no longer updated but has a huge archive of opinion and advice articles
- actionfortranshealth.org.uk – Action for Trans Health are a national organisation who promote trans people’s access to healthcare, from providing a list of trans-friendly GPs to campaigning for changes to the law
- www.them.us – them. is an online magazine and platform written by and for the LGBT+ community. Its content covers news, politics, opinion and arts and culture