February is LGBT+ History Month, a month-long observance and celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history. SMG joins in acknowledging this, and we’ve pulled together the below resources to help inspire us all with some ways to learn, engage and celebrate this month.
LGBT+ History Month in the UK was started by the education charity 'Schools Out' in 2005 to bring queer history to light after a long period where school children grew up hearing nothing positive about LGBT+ people.
What was Section 28, and why is it important?
Introduced in 1988, Section 28 prohibited UK local authorities and schools from promoting homosexuality and “the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship." This deprived generations of LGBT+ children the chance to see people like them in the books, plays, leaflets or films in their schools. Teachers weren’t allowed to talk about same-sex relationships, and anyone who broke the law could face disciplinary action. This homophobic law was only stopped in 2003.
How can we better understand different identities?
One great resource is Stonewall’s website, which includes a list of terms with clear descriptions to facilitate understanding across sexuality and gender. There is a lot of talk in the media about transgender people - Stonewall has this helpful Q&A to share a clearer understanding. We can also seek to listen to transgender people’s stories.
What LGBT+ shows are on TV right now?
It’s A Sin (Channel 4 online) - Recently uploaded to Channel 4 - its most streamed series ever - this is an emotional 5-part drama by Russell T Davies based on 5 friends living in London in the 1980s against the backdrop of the HIV/AIDS pandemic (the ‘gay plague’) which wiped out a generation.
Rupaul’s Drag Race UK (BBC iPlayer) - A fun pastiche of shows like Next Top Model, Drag Race is essentially a reality TV show where drag queens compete for a crown. Not taking itself too seriously, it manages to entertain while also shining a light on the talents and on-going challenges faced by queer people today.
We hope you find this informative and engaging and wish you a Happy LGBT+ History Month 2021!