LGBT+ History Month 2023: What is it, why is it celebrated in February and how to get involved?

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The month-long celebration aims to increase the visibility of the entire LGBTQI+ community and its indispensable history.

Celebrations for LGBT+ History Month have been impacted by the pandemic for too long, but now is an ideal time to get involved. Founded in the 90s, the month-long celebration aims to increase the visibility of the entire LGBT+ community and its indispensable history.

The event is observed by many different countries across the globe including US, Brazil, and Hungary but often celebrated in different months. The UK marks February on the calendar and there is an important meaning behind the date.

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The ‘Behind the Lens’ theme for 2023 raises awareness around the brave, revolutionary and often underappreciated contribution LGBT+ people have made toward the world of film. The collaborative efforts of film allow the opportunity to appreciate LGBT+ designers, writers, artists, musicians, and choreographers as well as directors and actors.

Visibility of LGBT+ people in the media continues to grow and LGBT+ History Month provides a platform for those in the past who weren’t granted the same privilege or opportunities but were still essential to the acceptance of queer individuals today.

Here’s everything you need to know about LGBT+ History Month 2023 in the UK including what it is, why it’s held in February, and how to get involved.

What is LGBT+ History Month?

LGBT+ History Month is an annual month-long event held to celebrate queer history and LGBT+ people. The event is different from Pride which is held in June as it shines a spotlight on LGBT+ history rather than focusing on contemporary issues the LGBTQI+ community face.

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The first LGBT+ History Month celebration in the UK was held in 2005 by the charity Schools OUT UK. The month-long celebration is about encouraging education about LQBTQI+ history, in and out of schools.

Why is LGBT+ History Month in the UK held in February?

February was initially chosen to coincide with the 2003 month the draconian Section 28 law was abolished from UK law. The law, enacted in 1988, prevented local authorities from promoting homosexuality and “publishing material with the intention of promoting homosexuality.”

The event also takes place in February rather than in October like in the US, as each history month has been founded separately by different authorities. The date associated with the abolition of Section 28 is not relevant to the U.S.

The U.S LGBT+ History Month was eleven years before the UK event by the first openly gay public school teacher Rodney Wilson.

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How to get involved with LGBT+ History Month 2023

LGBT+ History Month 2023 will be coordinated by Schools OUT UK but the grassroots charity works with other organisations such as UK Black Pride to ensure visibility and representation is extended to those who want to engage with the celebration.

You can visit the LGBT+ History Month website and view the LGBT+ events being held throughout the month via the events calendar. The Proud Trust have also compiled an accessible but educational resource and education pack on this year’s ‘Behind the Lens; a theme which can be downloaded via the Proud Trust website.

OUTing the Past is also holding an international festival of LGBT+ History, read how to attend the event by visiting the OUTing the Past website.

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