LGBT+ History month happens every February and is an opportunity to reflect, learn and celebrate the history of LGBT+ people in the UK alongside thinking ahead about how we can continue to fight for equality for all members of the community. LGBT+ History Month is for everyone, read our article below to learn more about it and how you can get involved.
Learn about the history of LGBT+ people in the UK (and beyond)
There has been so much positive change in the last ten years towards LGBT+ equality, but how much do you know about how this came about? From trailblazers and activists, to key milestones in history – there is so much we can learn from the history of the LGBT+ movement to help us campaign for a more equal future.
Take some time this month to explore the resources below – and discover your own!
- Read The British Library’s history of LGBT+ rights
- Delve into The Proud Trust’s People from History
- Explore Black LGBT+ stories with Stonewall
- Read The National Archives history of Queer
- Browse The National Archives diverse collection of LGBT+ history
- Discover Black and Gay Back in the Day – an archive of the Black LGBT+ community
Manchester itself has a vibrant LGBT+ history and has the largest queer community in the UK outside of London. We’ve pulled together some links below to help you explore the LGBT+ history in the city.
- Learn more about Manchester’s gay activists
- Book onto a free LGBT+ walking tour around the city
- Explore Manchester libraries archive of local LGBT+ history
Connect with your community
In Manchester we’re lucky to be home to a diverse LGBT+ community and throughout February there are lots of ways to connect and meet likeminded people. This includes events at the University and further afield in the city itself. This is a great opportunity to explore what’s going on in the city and get involved with LGBT+ community groups.
Events at the uni
- Come along to our free LGBTQ+ lecture hosted by the Arts & Humanities Faculties exploring Queer History in Ireland
- Explore The Whitworth’s collection through a queer lens at their latest free exhibition (Un)Defining Queer
- We’ve also got a whole host of of events for staff and students across the month of February to celebrate LGBT+ History Month
Events in the city
- LGBT Foundation are hosting free workshops including Yoga: Rest as Revolution and Queer Love: Poetry workshops for LGBT people of colour
- Queer Contact is back with a jam-packed line up included House of Suarez’s Disco Ball, the Cocoa Butter Club and Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister’s new show
- The Portico Library is hosting a literary salon exploring key LGBT+ texts with tickets from £3
- Get out into nature with Queer Out Here, an LGBTQ+ walking group based in Greater Manchester
- Make new pals and work together with Queer Hive, a community group based in Manchester
Sometimes it can be difficult to feel part of the community, especially if you don’t have many LGBT+ friends. Volunteering is a great way to feel part of something whilst finding a new group of mates. Check out the volunteer hub for LGBT+ volunteering opportunities.
Allies play an important role in helping fight for LGBT+ equality. Stonewall have put together a great article about how you can be an active ally, including understanding the language, educating yourself about the history of LGBT+ activism, listening to the challenges LGBT people face and supporting the community. Similary, Manchester Pride have a great resource section you can check out to understand LGBT+ culture like the importance of pronouns.
Allyship isn’t just for people who identify as straight. Supporting all members of the LGBT+ community is key to the continued fight for equality. However you identify, take some time to explore how you can support those who might feel more disenfranchised than you. Understanding the struggles of others doesn’t diminish your own experience or difficulties, instead it recognises that some members of the community face particular challenges that you don’t. We’ve highlighted a couple of articles below that might help you start to explore this.
- How to be a good HIV ally
- Tips to be a better ally to the trans community
- Gender identity for beginners: a guide to being a great trans ally
- 10 ways to be an ally to Black LGBT people
- 8 ways to be a better ally to LGBT Disabled people
Looking after yourself
Make sure, this LGBT+ History Month, to look after yourself. However you chose to engage and celebrate is valid, whether you’re out and proud or still figuring things out. Make sure to take some time for yourself and do things you enjoy. There’s no right way to be LGBTQ+ and it can take time to find your people and understand your identity. There’s lots of help on hand from the University, specific to the LGBT+ community, if you need a little extra support. You can find this on our Student Support website.
We’ll be sharing more content throughout the month so keep checking Student News for more LGBT+ History month content.