LGBT History Month – Peace, Activism and Reconciliation

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in News on 5th February, 2019

February 2019 is the 15th annual LGBT history month! This year the theme is peace, activism and reconciliation. LGBT people have often hidden themselves in society for their own safety and their achievements and contributions have also frequently been ignored.

LGBT History Month started in America in October 1994, coming to the UK in 2005 thanks to Schools OUT. It is based on Black History Month, which was first held in October 1987, and which we will also be celebrating later this year.

Why do we need LGBT History Month?
We celebrate LGBT History Month because throughout history the lives and achievements of LGBT people have been hidden from society; it has been easy for others to stereotype and distort the reality of their lives because of this. From this ignorance comes the prejudice that shows itself in homophobic bullying and negative discrimination. By presenting an honest appraisal of LGBT lives, the campaign and celebration seeks to replace ignorance with knowledge and understanding.

Stonewall key facts and figures show:

  • One in five (19 per cent) lesbian, gay and bi employees have experienced verbal bullying from colleagues, customers or service users because of their sexual orientation in the last five years
  • One in eight (13 per cent) lesbian, gay and bi employees would not feel confident reporting homophobic bullying in their workplace
  • A quarter (26 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bi workers are not at all open to colleagues about their sexual orientation
  • Nearly half (42 per cent) of trans people are not living permanently in their preferred gender role and stated they are prevented from doing so because they fear it might threaten their employment status
  • Over 10 per cent of trans people experienced being verbally abused and six per cent were physically assaulted at work. As a consequence of harassment and bullying, a quarter of trans people will feel obliged to change their jobs
  • One in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months
  • Two in five trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months
  • The number of LGB people who have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last year because of their sexual orientation has risen by 78% since 2013

You can find out more on the LGBT History Month website and follow the LGBT History Month via Twitter here, or via Facebook by searching for 'LGBTHistoryMonth'.

There is a mini festival taking place in Taunton on 2 February, held by OUTing the Past. More information can be found here.

The Government has marked the start of LGBT+ History Month by awarding government funding to organisations working to improve the lives of LGBT+ people in the UK. Twelve organisations which support LGBT+ people in education, healthcare and the community will receive a share of £2.6 million as part of the government’s 2018 LGBT+ Action Plan. You can read the article here.