Mathew Hulbert | Guest Writer | 1 February 2021
TODAY (1 February) marks the start of LGBT History month.
The reason why this month is so important is encapsulated in its tagline: ‘Claiming our past, Celebrating our Present and Creating our future.’
The first LGBT History Month was marked in the UK in 2005 and hundreds of events are now held each February, up and down the country, to reflect on the long fight for equality, those people who have been part of that over the years and, indeed, to remember how far there is still to go to achieve full equality for all LGBT+ individuals and communities.
In recent years, thanks to a partnership led by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, we’ve marked the month here in our area by holding events in the town, enabling people to find out more about the month and its importance to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans people and, indeed, other people who make up the wonderfully diverse LGBT+ community and communities.
Sadly, this year, as you’ll understand, due to Covid-19 and the lockdown we’re in because of it, it’s not possible for in-person events to take place.
But, that’s not going to stop us from marking this important four weeks online.
A host of content by the ‘True Colours’ LGBT+ events partnership will be put out on our Twitter feed, which you can find at https://twitter.com/LGBTeventsHB. This will include articles, videos, links, and much more.
On a personal level, I’d like to pay tribute to those who were fighting for equality for LGBT+ people, here in our own area and beyond, long before I was born.
Back when to be LGBT+ in this country was considered a crime, back when you couldn’t recognise in schools that some children have two mums and some have two dads and that all families are valid, back when gay, lesbian and bisexual people could find themselves in prison just for who they were and who they loved.
We should absolutely recognise how far we’ve come, from the decriminalisation of homosexuality, to the abolition of the discriminatory Section 28 (prohibiting the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools), to, in more recent years, civil partnerships and then same sex marriage.
But, of course, we also remember how far there is still to go. When young LGBT+ people face bullying at school, we have work to do.
When LGBT+ people can be paid less than their straight and cis colleagues, we have work to do.
When Trans people face a governmental bureaucracy which makes it increasingly difficult for them to be legally recognised for who they are, we have work to do.
And, when LGBT+ people can face hate crime just going about their daily lives, we have work to do.
As people who know me will have often heard me say before, none are equal until all are equal and so our fight for full equality, justice and recognition goes on.
LGBT History Month is a big part of the ongoing rainbow march for equality.
Many thanks to the team at the Hinckley Free Press for publishing this article, at the start of this busy and important month.