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

Hilary Mitchell
·3-min read

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.

If you’re a teacher, you can find 80 lesson plans that cover a wide range of LGBT+ issues at Schools Out’s special educational space The Classroom.

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 news@pinknews.co.uk.