Febuary is LGBT+ History month in the UK; a time dedicated to exploring the history of the LGBT+ community that has been supressed in the past, and celebrating the right to love whoever you want regardless of your gender.
I love that we now have national months that celebrate minorities, such as LGBT+ history month, as it gives our communities much needed recognition, and encourages people to embrace their sexuality/gender identity. In the past the LGBT+ community have been a target for prejudice, and now that this has improved (although we are still a very long way from equality), many say that there has been a significant rise in te LGBT+ population. Yes, there has been a rise in the number of people who identify as LGBT+, and I’m sure that the new found freedom of sexual minorities has encouraged many to explore their sexuality when they would have previously not done so, however the LGBT+ community has always existed. Of course many supressed their sexuality in the past because of strict laws against same sex relationships, however there have been a number of historical figures who didn’t identify as heterosexual, such as Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, Jane Addams and supposedly Alexander The Great. LGBT+ history month is about celebrating those historical figures and showing that the community has always existed and deserves recognition. I believe it’s so important that this month exists; it highlights to the world that our community is valid, and with various pride celebrations occuring, it’ll hopefully encourage more individuals to accept themselves and embrace their sexuality as it shows them that they are not alone.
There’s plently of ways to get involved in LGBT+ history month in the United Kingdom. If like me you live in Hampshire, the Hampshire Pride Organisation have arranged various events this month, such as a pride parade, a production of Rocky Horror Show and an LGBT+ history exhibition which are all taking place in Winchester and are a great way to explore the history of the community, show your pride, or show your support for LGBT+ individuals (and I’m sure there are other regional events occuring across the country). On a larger scale, several ‘OUTing The Past’ festivals are occuring across the UK, many of which are in London, and these include both presentations and theatre productions that explore the history of the LGBT+ community. The national LGBT+ history month website also has a variety of resources that can be used in schools to educate individuals about the LGBT+ community.
There’s a lot of ways to get involved in LGBT+ history month; I can’t wait to visit the exhibition in Winchester, and I think whether you’re LGBT+ or not, educating yourself about the past of the supressed community is important, and regardless of your sexuality it’s great to show your support for LGBT+ individuals. Months like this are so important when it comes to liberating the LGBT+ community, and I only hope this Febuary will encourage more invidivuals to embrace themselves.
Hampshire Pride details can be found here: https://hampshirepride.com/
More information about National events: http://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/