February is LGBT History Month in the UK
LGBT History Month originated in the United States , it was founded in 1994 by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson. October 11th had already established National Coming Out Day (NCOD) in 1988, October also commemorated the first March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation by LGBT people in 1979.
While it was first known as Lesbian and Gay History Month, the coordinating committee soon added “Bisexual” and “Trans” to become LGBT History Month.
Equality Forum, a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus, undertook responsibility for LGBT History Month from 2006. They introduced ICONS, for each of the 31 days in October an LGBT Icon is featured with a video and biography. From popstars to politicians, there are virtually no communities without their own LGBT icons. Young and old, they have all experienced discrimination just for their gender or sexuality.
LGBT History Month was adopted in the UK by Sue Sanders of Schools Out (formerly The Gay Teachers Association) and first took place in 2005. February was chosen to celebrate the month in which Section 28 (aka Clause 28) had recently been abolished in 2003. Section 28 had been introduced as part of the Local Government Act 1988, and legislated that a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.
The theme for 2018 UK LGBT History Month is Geography: Mapping the World. Exploring historical gender identity around the world, the progress and regress of LGBTI+ Rights, for instance – there are still 76 countries around the world where homosexuality is illegal, labels and language outside of Western LGBT Culture.
2018 is also the 30th anniversary of Section 28, a regressive piece of legislation introduced by the Thatcher government of 1979-1990. Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act stated that councils should not “intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” in its schools or other areas of their work.