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LGBT+ History Month 2021: When is it, what resources are available and what events are taking place

Hilary Mitchell January 5, 2021
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New York Pride Parade 1989, LGBT history, Stonewall

New York Pride Parade, 1989, 20th anniversary of Stonewall. (Wikimedia Commons)

LGBT+ History Month is celebrated in the UK in February, and in the US and Canada in October. 

It was founded in 1994 by Missouri high-school teacher Rodney Wilson, and has since evolved into a month-long celebration observed in Hungary, the UK, the US, Canada, Brazil, Greenland and Berlin.

LGBT+ History Month in the UK is coordinated by grassroots voluntary organisation and registered charity Schools Out UK, who aim to increase the visibility of the entire LGBT+ community, as well as their history, lives and experiences. It was founded by professor emeritus Sue Sanders of the Harvey Milk Institute and activist and educator Paul Patrick; they work with schools and other educational institutions – providing resources and training to help make them safe spaces for LGBT+ people, as well as raising awareness of issues that affect the community. You can donate to the programme here.   

They chose February as LGBT+ History Month to coincide with the 2003 abolition of Section 28, which stated that local authorities were not allowed to “intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality”. 

In Scotland, similar work is carried out in February by LGBT Youth Scotland

Anne Lister, LGBT History
An LGBT history plaque honouring Anne Lister. (Phil Champion/Creative Commons)

What’s the theme of LGBT+ History Month 2021?

This year’s theme is ‘Body, Mind and Spirit’.

How can I take part in LGBT+ History Month 2021?

There will be fewer in-person events taking place in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic, however there are still many ways you can get involved.

Schools Out UK have a range of resources you can access to share at your educational institution or at your place of work. 

They have an LGBT+ History ‘Voices and Visibility’ wall-chart that you can download and print, then put it on your noticeboard at work, or in your classroom.

There are other resources here that are available for download.

The Rainbow Flag Award Classroom is a free set of LGBT+ inclusive lesson plans and resources that link to the national curriculum across all key stages and all curriculum areas. The aim is to take LGBT+ awareness into all subject areas – giving schools a sprinkling of LGBT+ people and lives through the entire curriculum.  You can click here to register to gain access to full lesson plans suitable for all ages, free of charge.

You can also download The Proud Trust’s LGBT History Month Toolkit 2021

One planned event was OUTing the Past at the National Maritime Museum on 13 February, although this has now been reimagined as a virtual festival due to the pandemic.

The festival aims to reveal the unheard and under-recognised histories of LGBTQ+ people, with a range of speakers who will highlight the intersectionalities between race, gender, class and sexuality in a variety of presentations covering topics including queer black identity, mental health and female/gay liberation.  

The Museum of London also intend to mark LGBT+ History Month with a range of walks, talks and events.

Lesflicks are curating a short film compilation specially for LGBT+ History Month. The 60-90 minute programme will be available for free for any library, film club, community group or university network to request to screen during February 2021. You can register here

Are you running an event or activity that you’d like us to include here? You can email us at [email protected].

Related topics: lgbt history month, LGBT Youth Scotland, Schools Out UK, Section 28, Sue Sanders

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