Shropshire Council

LGBT History Month 2022

An introduction

What’s it all about?

LGBT History Month is an annual month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.

February is recognised as LGBT history month in the UK, but even now there's a lot of LGBT history many of us don't know - and this is partly because of Section 28. Section 28 was a ban on the "promotion of homosexuality" in schools which was introduced in 1988 by the Government of the day. It actually ran until 2000 in Scotland and 2003 in England and Wales.

But it's also partly because so much of LGBT history happened in secret. In a BBC article, academic Harry Cocks, associate history professor at the University of Nottingham, says: "Even in the 19th century, it's very difficult to talk about gay or lesbian identity".

Professor Cocks says if there was to be more LGBT history taught in British schools, it should also include landmark moments where laws changed - and where lives changed.

Moments like the 1957 Wolfenden Report, which recommended decriminalisation of gay sex and suggested homosexuality should no longer be considered a disease, or the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, when gay sex was decriminalised in England and Wales.

LGBT History Month offers us all opportunities to do any or all of the following:

  • Connect and reflect on the past and present of the LGBT community;
  • Celebrate LGBT culture and progress towards equality over time;
  • Explore what the lessons of history can teach us for the future;
  • Explore the idea of social justice and changing attitudes towards LGBT people.

While we have come a long way in terms of inclusion and attitudes towards same gender relationships and equal marriage, there is still a great deal of work that can happen in terms of positive trans (including non-binary) representation and inclusion.

In this Shropshire resource pack, we will be looking in more detail at some of the key legislative milestones, like Section 28, and where we are now; exploring allyship; and promoting local networks and ways to find support, whether you would describe yourself as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, whether you want to be a good ally, or whether you just want to know more.