February is THE month of celebration and positivity when it comes to the UK! Like most countries, the UK has a history with the LGBTQ+ community. According to Section 28 which was enacted in 1988 and abolished in 2003, it was prohibited to “promote homosexuality” in the UK.
This has naturally led to a public outcry, with mass protests of both LGBTQ+ communities and their allies in the UK.
Today marks the start of LGBT History Month! A month for celebration, reflection and change.— Rainbow Migration (@rainbowmigrants) February 1, 2022
We have been supporting LGBTQI+ people through the asylum and immigration process and campaigning for their rights since 1993. #LGBTHM22 pic.twitter.com/gRrnjO5ixI
To celebrate the law’s abolition both in the UK and Scotland, the annual LGBTQ+ History Month takes place each February. It is a celebration of everything great about LGBTQ+ and the event is filled with a wide range of manifestations, public meetups, exhibitions, etc. Taimi is here to tell you all about it, some of the awesome events you should follow, as well as how you can show your support for LGBTQ+ History Month!
Let’s break down what LGBTQ+ History Month is really about. According to the Local Government Act of 1988, Chapter 9, this legislation was to “prohibit the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities”. In translation, “traditional values” were more important to the then legislators than what the growing LGBTQ+ community needed at the time – open support and acceptance.
As we’ve mentioned before, the LGBTQ+ community has its history in the UK, and the road from 1988 to 2022 has been a turbulent one. One of the biggest supporters of the abolition of Section 28 was none other than Sir Ian McKellen, a public figure of the LGBTQ+ movement.
Scotland successfully abolished Section 28 in 2000, with the UK following suit in 2003. Since then, LGBTQ+ History Month has been celebrated as a landmark achievement for the community with various public events across the UK. We’re here to shine a light on some of them to make it easier for you to follow along with the celebration.
Riot Act is an online production directed by Alexis Gregory and aims to reenact the Stonewall riots from the perspective of a lone survivor, an activist with first-hand experience of the protests. This is a solo online show, filmed at the Hackney Empire and it will be available for viewing throughout February. Riot Act is funded by the Arts Council England and serves as a great reimagining of queer activism which is informative, captivating, and most importantly – comes from the hearts and minds of those who’ve lived it.
When: February 1st to 28th, 2022
Time: 7:30 – 12:00 PM
If you’re looking for a casual event where you can join some of UKs LGBTQ+ community members for virtual tea and coffee, this is the place for you. Catchup & Chat Virtual Tea/Coffee is organized by the trans, gender non-conforming, and SOFFAs from West Midlands, England. This is a Zoom event that would have happened in a café or a pub before COVID-19 restrictions but has now been moved online. Check it out if you’re on the lookout for a laid-back chat session with a welcoming LGBTQ+ community, look no further.
Zoom Meeting ID: 966 6933 1425
When: February 3rd, 2022
Time: 6:15 PM
Where: West Midlands/Online
Art exhibitions are a major part of LGBTQ+ History Month because of how versatile and expressive the medium of art is. Epiphania is a group exhibition of artists and activists from Bangladesh, where British colonial laws still apply. Gender and sexual diversity are not only scorned upon but outright illegal, which is also why this exhibition is anonymous as to protect the identities of brave individuals in its community. Themes of identity, sexuality, gender, and the queer experience are thoroughly explored, vivisected, and presented without a filter. It is an amazing event to check out if you’re in the UK as it has the backing of both Arts Council England and Transforming Narratives.
When: February 5th to April 3rd, 2022
Time: Venue’s regular opening hours
Where: Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham
Queer Alphabet Soup is the perfect event for those who love literature, poetry, and performance art. This is a poetry night event centered on LGBTQ+ topics, authors, performers, and discussions. It will feature various speakers, readers, and discussion panelists, including writers like Adam Zmith and Charlotte Cooper. If you love reading queer literature, enjoy poetry, and would love to meet some of your favorite authors and chat them up, give the Tate South Lambeth Library a visit during LGBTQ+ History Month!
When: February 16th, 2022
Time: 7:00 – 7:00 PM
Where: Tate South Lambeth Library, London
As you can see, there are various events, concerts, exhibitions, and meetups happening around the UK during February. It’s worth noting however that due to the global pandemic and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the UK, some dates and venues are prone to change. However, there are plenty of great events to join online, as they are organized in the form of webinars, online music events, discussion forums, history lessons, etc.
How can you show support for LGBTQ+ History Month? It’s really easy, whether you’re in the UK or simply want to show support for the local LGBTQ+ community, here’s what you can do:
Whichever social media platform you use, share something interesting, inspiring, funny, or creative about the LGBTQ+ community and add a hashtag #LGBTHM22. This is the official hashtag of the LGBTQ+ History Month event and it will ensure that your posts gain great exposure with the community and its allies.
If you are local, however, you should check out some of the events we’ve outlined, drop by, meet its organization team, and post about it on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Social media is a very powerful tool that the movement in 1988 was sorely lacking. Thanks to it and the increasing support for LGBTQ+ communities, you can be a part of the positive change happening in the UK and around the world.
Don’t sleep on this awesome event and celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month with Taimi!
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