Celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month 2021

February is LGBTQ+ History Month.

LGBTQ+ History Month is a celebration to provide education and insight into the issues that the LGBTQ+ community face by highlighting specific histories, important events and milestones, alongside the people that have made change possible. 

The event originated in the wake of the abolition of Section 28 in 2003 legislation which silenced teachers, preventing them from talking about LGBT issues in schools, and left thousands of young people without the support they so badly needed. 

The main aim is to inform people and teach younger people about the history of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer movements and to promote an inclusive modern society.

In 2017, a study conducted by Stonewall discovered that two in five LGBTQ+ students have never been taught anything about LGBTQ+ issues in lessons.

As with many events during the Covid pandemic, activities to mark LGBTQ+ History Month this year are limited to online.

Who do you think we are?

The council’s LGBTQ Workers Forum have teamed up with local life coach Sam Adams, who has written and presented a series of short online films focussing on intersectionality and platforming other voices. 

Selective documenting of history and culture has been a pervasive issue for centuries, and the stories of LGBTQ+ people of colour are notably underrepresented; not least within the LGBTQ+ community itself. 

Sam speaks about ‘Identity’, ‘Being Real’, ‘Self-Awareness’, ‘Intersectionality’, ‘Privilege’, ‘Responsibility’ and ‘Resilience’, supported with illustrations from local artist Shanni Collins. 

The films reflect that without our own writers writing our own stories, we get written out of history completely and Sam asks us directly this LGBTQ+ History Month to reflect on what, and who we are. 

The first of the films covers ‘Identity’. The rest will be shared over the month here and by following LGBTQ Workers Forum on twitter @LGBTQiWF.

LGBTQ+ History Month at Brighton & Hove libraries

Our library service is offering a number of online events, workshops and resources to celebrate LGBTQ+ history month.

Highlights include a LGBTQ+ Voices Poetry zoom workshop with AFLO at 3pm on Sunday 21 February, offered in partnership with New Writing South and Writing Our Legacy. 

The workshop is open to people of all backgrounds, aged 16 and older. It is suitable for beginners as well as more experienced writers. 

Sussex Writers of Colour Celebration New LGBTQ+ New Voices also present an evening of new writing from LGBTQ+ Writers of Colour at 7pm on Thursday 25 February.

Tickets to the events are free, but you must register on Eventbrite and will need a library membership number.

There are also storytime sessions, early years and families craft sessions and evening top picks events throughout the month

Our online library, Borrowbox, has a fantastic LGBTQ+ collection of fiction and non-fiction eBooks & eAudiobooks, to borrow anytime, anywhere.

Full details of all that’s on offer, visit our libraries LGBT+ History month events webpages.

Supporting our communities

Councillor Steph Powell, joint chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, said:

“While we can’t hold any physical events to mark LGBTQ+ History Month this year, it is important that we take time to promote tolerance and raise awareness of the prejudices still faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“I’d like to thank everyone who’s been involved in activities to mark the month and keep these important messages in the spotlight.

“Brighton & Hove is a welcoming, open city and we do not tolerate hate. We support all our diverse communities, including our faith, BAME, LGBT+ and disabled communities.

“We continue to work collaboratively with our community groups bringing people together, building tolerance and standing against hate wherever we find it.”