When is LGBT+ History Month 2023? UK date of Stonewall awareness month, theme, and how to get involved

The first LGBT+ History Month in the UK took place in 2005

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February marks the beginning of LGBT+ History Month in the UK, after Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick, co-chairs of LGBTQ+ charity Schools OUT, first initiated the event in 2005.

This is everything you need to know - from what the month is all about, and how you can get involved.

What is LGBT+ History Month?

LGBT+ History Month is the month celebrating the achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other orientations under the LGBT+ umbrella throughout history.

It is organised by the UK LGBT+ charity called Schools OUT, and was first coined in 2005.

LGBT+ History Month lasts throughout all of February (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images for Pride in London)LGBT+ History Month lasts throughout all of February (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images for Pride in London)
LGBT+ History Month lasts throughout all of February (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images for Pride in London)

Schools OUT explains that the “overall aim of LGBT+ History Month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public”.

This is achieved through things like:

  • Increasing the visibility of LGBT+ people and their history, lives and experiences in school curriculums and the wider community
  • Raising awareness and advancing education on matters affecting the LGBT+ community
  • Working to make educational and other institutions safe spaces for all LGBT+ communities 
  • Promoting the welfare of LGBT+ people by ensuring that the education system recognises and enables LGBT+ people to achieve their full potential

When is LGBT+ History Month?

LGBT+ History Month is celebrated all around the world, however across the globe it is celebrated during different months of the year.

In the UK, LGBT+ History Month is celebrated in February every year in order to coincide with the 2003 abolishment of Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act.

Protesters holding a banner opposing Section 28, at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride event, London, 4 July 1998 - it wouldn’t be repealed until 2003 (Photo: Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)Protesters holding a banner opposing Section 28, at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride event, London, 4 July 1998 - it wouldn’t be repealed until 2003 (Photo: Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Protesters holding a banner opposing Section 28, at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride event, London, 4 July 1998 - it wouldn’t be repealed until 2003 (Photo: Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Section 28 was a piece of legislation that was introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s administration which stated that local authorities were not allowed to “intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality”.

The first LGBT+ History Month in February 2005 saw more than 150 events be organised around the UK and from there has grown every year.

What’s the theme this year?

The theme for LGBT+ History Month 2022 is “Behind the Lens”.

Schools OUT explains: “The LGBT+ History Month 2023 #BehindTheLens celebrates LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to cinema and film from behind the lens. Directors, cinematographers, screen writers, producers, animators, costume designers, special effects, make up artists, lighting directors, musicians, choreographers and beyond.

“At a time when LGBT+ lives are in the media we also encourage you to look ‘Behind the Lens’ and listen to LGBT+ peoples’ lived experiences.”

How can I get involved?

There are loads of events taking place around the UK to celebrate LGBT+ History Month throughout February, both in person and online.

You can check out different events from across the country on the LGBT+ History Month website and also the LGBT+ Foundation website.

There are lots of in person and online events you can get involved with (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)There are lots of in person and online events you can get involved with (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
There are lots of in person and online events you can get involved with (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Some events taking place includes:

  • Drag life drawing every Friday in February from 9pm to 10pm in Margate
  • A LGBTQIA+ market at the Shoe Factory Social Club in Norwich, on 4 and 5 February
  • A free LGBTQ+ history of London tour from 11am to 1pm, on 5 February
  • An LGBTQIA+ history zine making workshop in London
  • A showcase of books and manuscripts that feature queer stories, histories and authors at New College, Oxford

You can also donate to Schools OUT as well to help provide more LGBT+ resources, training and services to schools and educational institutions.

You can do so by visiting the LGBT+ History Month website and hitting the donate button. You can choose to donate just a one off or you can set up a standing order for regular donations instead.

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