LGBT+ History Month 2022
In the UK, February is marked as LGBT+ History Month. It is an annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and non-binary history - including the history of LGBT+ rights and related civil rights movements - that encourages us to develop our understanding of matters affecting the LGBT+ community. It aims to promote a safer and more inclusive society where the varied spectrum of sexuality and gender is universally accepted and spoken about openly.
LGBT+ History Month has focused its activities on a different theme each year and the theme for 2022 is 'The arc is long' (paraphrased from Dr Martin Luther King Jr's quote 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice'), something that feels very poignant, especially in current times. You can find more information on the LGBT+ History Month website.
There is also a dedicated YouTube channel that features a wide range of videos, interviews with prominent LGBT+ people, and personal stories of coming out and of facing and overcoming prejudice. More information about LGBT+ issues in general is available on the Stonewall website.
One action we can all take to mark LGBT+ History Month is to commit to finding time to develop our personal understanding of LGBT+ inequity issues and to become an ally. A 'Voices and Visibility' wallchart is one useful free resource that can be used to raise awareness of sexual orientation and gender identity equality. It highlights important UK legal milestones and identifies visible and significant contributions made by individuals, groups, and particularly the labour movement.
The LGBT+ community also has a long history of having to fight for human rights. Even today, 70 countries criminalise same-sex relationships. The stark reality of current global rights for LGBT+ people is depicted in this map, which makes it even more important that we critique as well as celebrate the community's history. By doing this, we can look ahead to the future.
Institute of Historical Research
- Wednesday, 2 February, 16:00: The IHR's History and Public Health Seminar will feature UCL's Rebecca Jennings on ‘They all thought I was a crank’: Lesbian mothers and public health professionals in Britain and Australia, 1970s-1990s'. Free but booking essential.
LGBT+ History Month UK programme of online events
- LGBT+ History Month has a programme of free in-person and online events, including the following.
- Saturday, 5 February: 50 Years of the Gay Liberation Front | Bishopsgate Institute: Dan Glass, author of United Queerdom: From the Legends of the Gay Liberation Front to the Queers of Tomorrow, will lead participants through five decades of LGBTQ+ culture and protest.
- Thursday, 17 February, 18:00: 'That which never can be suppressed': LGBTQ+ history in the RCP collections: Explore how the lives of LGBT+ people, and attitudes to sexual and gender diversity, are reflected in the RCP collections.
- LGBTQ+ History Month: From China to UK, Qiuyan Chen's journey as a LGBTQ+ activist: This event explores the journey of Qiuyan Chen, an LGBTQ+ activist and artist. She is co-curator of the Queer Chinese Community Art Festival 2021 and an alumna of the London School of Economics' Gender programme. She initiated campaigns in China, including 'Say No to Homophobic Textbooks', and 'All Teachers Out for LGBT+' that called for equality.
- Out and About! LGBTQ+ history exhibition at the Barbican | Bishopsgate Institute: Bishopsgate Institute stages a take-over of The Curve at the Barbican with an archive installation of objects, ephemera, and media highlighting 40 moments and stories in London's LGBTQ+ history.