February is LGBT+ History Month in the UK

17th February 2021

In the UK, LGBT+ History Month started in 2005 – organised by LGBT educators and activists Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick in the wake of the abolition of Section 28. 

Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1986 stated that local authorities “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” 

This meant that between 1988 and 2003 LGBT+ thoughts, feelings and stories were oppressed. Young people weren’t taught that being LGBT+ was okay, in fact, in most schools LGBT+ education was entirely non-existent, leading to the vast majority of educators and schools censoring all mention of LGBT+ orientation, identities and history from educational settings, for fear of breaching the act and facing legal action. 

Following the repeal of Section 28 in 2003, Schools Out UK, driven by Sanders and Patrick, hoped to rectify this and catch up on lost time, with a month each year dedicated to celebrating, educating and remembering LGBT+ history. 

This year the theme is “Body, Mind, Spirit” – a theme that will likely resonate with us all after the last 12 months. 

Each year, five faces are chosen to represent the theme, and this year is no different: