In the beginning
LGBT History month is an annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender history, which has grown and evolved over the years to include and represent the whole LGBTQ+ spectrum of identities and orientations.
It was first founded by a Missouri high school teacher – Rodney Wilson – in October of 1994. In the US, this gathered momentum and has since been celebrated every October. Seeing the benefit, in 2005, UK-based charity ‘School’s Out’ founded our own version of LGBT History month to be observed every February, and it has grown year on year ever since.
Aims of LGBT History Month
Although the theme of LGBT History month changes each year, the central aims of the month carry through:
· To increase the visibility of LGBTQ+ people, both in society and in educational spaces
· To shine a light on the experiences of LGBTQ+ people from the past and in the present, in order to learn from them and grow
· To raise awareness of how far we have come and how far we still have to go, in the journey to genuine acceptance, inclusion and equality.
What’s the difference between LGBT History month and Pride month?
LGBT History month is a way to recognise how the LGBTQ+ community got to where we are today in terms of rights and freedoms; a chance to teach about and raise awareness of the people and events pivotal to the LGBTQ+ history journey; and an opportunity to remember the people we lost along the way, to honour their memory and legacy.
Whereas Pride month is about celebrating the past to make way for a brighter future, LGBT History month is about commemorating the past so it is not forgotten, and so we can learn from it and create that brighter future.
Theme for 2024 – Medicine #UnderTheScope
Every year, the theme for LGBT History month shines a month-long spotlight on the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community, which can tend to go unrecorded.
Throughout history, many LGBTQ+ people have been left out of the history books and not celebrated or recognised for their contributions because of their identity or orientation. LGBT History month this year is a chance to learn about the advances, inventions and achievements of LGBTQ+ people in the field and history of medicine. To find out more, please visit https://lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk/lgbt-history-month-2024/
It is important that we use what we learn in LGBT History month to strive to make our world more fair, more inclusive and more equal for LGBTQ+ people. With that in mind, and with society becoming increasingly difficult for LGBTQ+ people to navigate, thanks to government legislation and social media, this year especially, it is important to educate ourselves on what has gone before, the struggles and battles for equality in the past, and use that information to continue to strive for more, including protecting LGBTQ+ inclusive education.