LGBT History Month
LGBT History month is upon us and we feel inspired to celebrate it by the explosion of LGBT TV, Film and music inspo that has been unleashed on us in the past 12 months alone. The now-iconic It’s a Sin, Euphoria, L word Gen Q, Feel Good, Gentleman Jack and Pose are all TV Series which have celebrated queerness in all their beautiful glory, whilst shining a light on characters otherwise missing from history books.
In the UK, LGBT History Month was chosen to be celebrated in February to coincide with the abolition of Section 28 in 2003. This piece of legislation was introduced in 1988 and meant local authorities were banned from educating people about being gay. The PM at the time – Margaret Thatcher, was emboldened to promote this law due to a rise in homophobia that was aggravated by the AIDS/HIV crisis.
A year before, in 1987 Diana, Princess of Wales opened a new ward at Middlesex Hospital for the treatment of HIV patients, shaking the hands of AIDS patients without wearing gloves. Before then AIDS /HIV patients were kept in strict isolation and it was thought that the disease can spread by touch. Princess Diana’s actions were a momentous step forward in the perceptions of how AIDS/HIV patients were viewed and treated.
The 90’s saw Gay Pride expand from London to Manchester, the World Health Organisation declassifying same sex attraction as a mental illness, the first effective HIV medicine becoming available in 1996, Ellen DeGeneres coming out as Gay on the cover of TIME magazine and Trans Day of Remembrance starting in 1999.
During the early 2000’s many historic milestones were reached in terms of Equal rights. Alongside Section 28 being repealed, the Employment Equality law (2003) was passed making it illegal to discriminate against LGBT+ people in the workplace (which was extended further to employment application and interview process in 2010). Swiftly followed by the Civil Partnership Act 2004, Gender Recognition Act 2004 & Adoption & Children Act 2005 and the Marriage Act 2013.
In 2013 the first Trans Pride took place in Brighton, US legalised same-sex marriage in 2015 and in 2017 the waiting period for gay men to donate blood in the UK was reduced from 12 months to 3.
Every decade we think that our decade is the best one yet. Each decade different communities make a difference for those that come after. Every decade we win more rights, equality and fairness. We are living in the most profound part of LGBT+ history and our rights.