LGBT History Month launches in London and Salford

PinkNews Staff Writer November 26, 2009
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LGBT History Month will celebrate its fifth anniversary in February and will be holding a special launch in the north-west at the University of Salford next month.

The yearly event, organised by gay education group Schools Out, hosted a national launch event at the British Museum in London earlier this month.

It included LGBT-themed tours for local children in the morning followed by a training session for teachers and youth workers and an evening reception.

Culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, who is gay, attended the evening reception to present an award to 16-year-old youth activist Ben Hall for his volunteer work.

The Salford University event will be held on December 3rd.

Vice-chancellor Professor Martin Hall, who is hosting the event, said “As a university we are committed to supporting our LGBT staff and students.

“And given our commitment and promise of continued support it is fitting that our university is hosting this important event – at a time when we are seeing a rising level of homophobia in schools and colleges.”

The launch will also feature a keynote address by the influential feminist historian, Professor Sheila Rowbotham.

Organisers say the hope the launch in the north will helps schools remove the stigma about LGBT issues and hopefully stop more homophobic attacks such as the one on Liverpool trainee policeman James Parkes.

LGBT History Month regional co-ordinator Jeff Evans said: “Schools Out challenges the government for failing to provide teachers and workers in education with the skills to educate students about LGBT issues.

“Schools Out questions why we don’t challenge such hate crime in schools. Schools Out demands that both national and local governments move swiftly to address their current failure to challenge homophobic bullying and supply the adequate training for teachers and workers in education who seek the skills to defend their pupils and educate students about LGBT issues.”

LGBT History Month was inspired by its US equivalent, which has been celebrated since 1994. This year, the UK event was granted its first reception at 10 Downing Street.

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