It’s LGBT+ History Month at Strath Union and we’re celebrating with some cool events (open mics, walking tours, movie nights, panel discussions, etc.) and an exhibition of our ‘LGBT+ Icons’. But what exactly is LGBT+ History Month? And why do we need it when we have Pride Month later in the year?
When I grew up, I never really learned about LGBT+ history. In schools, you’re taught about wars and politics and empire, and at home, you’re taught about family history. For most people, that means not really interacting with LGBT+ history at all. The LGBT+ community isn’t one that’s inherited, it’s one you have to actively seek out.
I started coming to understand my sexuality and where I fit into the community when I was around fourteen, and it’s around then that I started to research LGBT+ history. I learned about Stonewall, and about the community’s part in the miner strikes in the 80s, and in 2015, I lived history when I watched the US Supreme Court rule same-sex marriage a constitutional right.
I think pride is great - it’s a time to celebrate who we are and really find our place in the community. But there’s something special about History Month. It’s all about giving ourselves - and inviting allies into - a learning space, where we are able to look back and appreciate what got us where we are today. It’s important that we remember those ‘Icons’ from before. LGBT+ history isn’t an inherited thing, but the more we talk about it in public spaces, the more we emphasise it’s place in the history of the world and of our communities, the less young LGBT+ people feel alone.
And importantly, we have to celebrate the history we are living. Our LGBT+ Icons Exhibition lifts up a few influential LGBT+ figures throughout history, but we also want to pay attention to those influencing culture today.
And so I ask you during this LGBT+ History month to talk about and share your own icons. They could be celebrities past, activists, or even friends and community members who are making a positive difference through their actions. We’ve living history. So let’s celebrate that.
Our events here