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- Categories: LGBT+
February is LGBT+ History Month, and the theme for 2021 is ‘Body, Mind and Spirit’.
LGBT+ History Month is a month long celebration of LGBT+ history, and the history of gay rights and related civil rights movements. It takes place every February in the UK, and aims to promote and celebrate equality and diversity. The first LGBT+ History Month in the UK was celebrated in 2005. Since 2011, LGBT+ History Month has taken a different theme each year. The theme for 2021 is ‘Body, Mind and Spirit’. You can find more information on the LGBT+ History Month website.
There is also a dedicated LGBT+ History Month YouTube channel which features a wide range of videos, including the online LGBT+ History Month Launch event which took place last November, interviews with prominent LGBT+ people, and personal stories of coming out and of facing prejudice.
More information about LGBT+ issues in general is available on Stonewall’s website.
Did you know?
The UK’s first National Trans Conference took place at the University of Leeds in 1974. It was organised by the Beaumont Society, a support group founded in 1966 for trans people assigned male at birth. The conference featured talks and discussions and a variety of social events. You can find out more about this event on the West Yorkshire Queer Stories website.
LGBT+ History Month at the University
Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans folk have been around since the dawn of time, from Julius Caesar to King James I, but when you look at mainstream history you’d never guess they were queer. LGBT+ History month is a celebration of all things LGBT+ throughout history
Ian Holdsworth, Co-chair, University of Leeds LGBT+ Staff Network
At the University of Leeds, our core values of inclusiveness and community are at the heart of everything that we do. Over the years, the University has worked closely with our active LGBT+ Staff Network, Students’ Union Officers and colleagues to promote LGBT+ inclusion and create an open, inclusive environment for all.
To mark LGBT+ History Month, the Parkinson Building will be lit up in rainbow colours on Monday 1 February and again on Sunday 28 February.
Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, LGBT+ History Month is taking place largely online in 2021.
Events in Leeds
Re-Storying the Bible with Ugandan LGBT+ Refugees, 4 February, 4-5.30pm
Professor Johanna Stietbert and Professor Adriaan van Klinken from the University of Leeds will be presenting a paper titled ‘Re-Storying the Bible with Ugandan LGBT+ Refugees with a Q&A discussion via Teams. Join the Re-Storying the Bible seminar.
OUTing the Past – 6 February, 9.50am-3.40pm
OUTing the Past is a live online conference hosted by Leeds Art Gallery. It is an international celebration of LGBT+ history and includes a wide range of speakers. Topics under discussion this year include Asexuality, LGBT+ Health and the NHS, Being Transgender and many more! Videos of the talks will be available afterwards if you can’t attend but would like to listen to them.
Leeds LGBT+ Bookclub – The first Wednesday of every month, 6.30pm, currently via Zoom
The Leeds LGBT+ Bookclub meet once a month to discuss a wide range of books either written by LGBT+ authors or with LGBT+ themes. It is a safe space and no-one will have to provide any information they do not want to. The LGBT+ Bookclub reading list is available on their website.
Queer Campus? Online? A creative online workshop, 11 February, 5pm
Would you like to take part in research on the ways in which LGBT+ students at Leeds use and create online spaces? If you are a student at the University of Leeds, LGBT+, and have some time to join the workshop and a follow up interview the week after, you can find more information about the workshop using the link above.
Women Friendly Leeds LGBT+ Online Panel Discussion, 24 February, 7-8.30pm
An informative, insightful and thought provoking event with a diverse panel of women speakers. This is a free event, held via Zoom. You can book a ticket on Eventbrite – Women Friendly Leeds LGBT+ Online Panel Discussion
West Yorkshire Queer Stories
Between 2018 and 2020, West Yorkshire Queer Stories collected stories about LGBT+ life across the region. A wealth of films, videos, podcasts and personal stories have been put together. They are now held by the West Yorkshire Archive Service and can be accessed on the West Yorkshire Queer Stories website.
Societies and Networks
Contact the LGBT+ Staff Network to find more information and details of activities and events.
Contact the Leeds University Union LGBT+ Society to find information about activities and how to join.
Support for all staff and students
- Helpful LGBT+ resources
- Policy on Dignity and Mutual Respect (pdf)
- Trans Equality Policy and Guidance for Trans Staff and Students (Note – these documents are due to be revised)
- Location of gender neutral toilets on campus
- Family Friendly Policies
LGBT+ Role Models and Allies
Read more about the University’s LGBT+ Role Models and Allie. If you would like to be featured as a Role Model or an Ally yourself, you will find a form to fill in on the site. You can also contact the LGBT+ Staff Network or the Equality & Inclusion Unit if you would like more information.
Have your say
Project Freedom are an organisation striving to build Leeds’ first LGBTQ+ Community Housing Scheme. They have just launched their Housing Survey to gain an insight into the housing needs of local LGBTQ+ communities. They would like to hear the views of as many LGBTQ+ individuals who live in Yorkshire or who have ties to Leeds as possible. If you would like to give your views, you can find the survey on the Project Freedom website.
For any queries on LGBT+ History Month, please contact either the LGBT+ Staff Network or firstname.lastname@example.org.