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Get involved with LGBT+ History Month at The Joy Club

01 Feb 2023 | Written by Alice Garnett - The Joy Club

The Joy Club’s Editorial and Content Manager, Alice Garnett, writes on the importance of LGBT+ History Month and how you can get involved with the conversation. As a bisexual woman, Alice has always been interested in LGBT+ issues – particularly those of queer women, who are woefully underrepresented (and overlooked) throughout history.

This February, at The Joy Club we are observing LGBT+ History Month – celebrating queer history and culture through a line-up of expert-led talks and workshops. 

LGBT+ History Month was founded in 2004 by Schools OUT Co-Chairs Paul Patrick and Professor Emeritus Sue Sanders with a view to reclaim LGBT+ history, celebrate the community’s present and create their future. It is a month-long celebration, taking place every February in the UK. 

Why LGBT+ History Month is important…

Much of our understanding of LGBT+ history is underpinned by tragedy. When we think of queer people from history, we tend to think of figures such as 19th century writer Oscar Wilde, mathematician and code-breaker Alan Turing and musical legend Freddie Mercury. Wilde was subject to a very public trial and sentenced to two years’ hard labour for being homosexual – an event which inspired A. E. Housman (another late Victorian queer poet) to write ‘Oh Who Is That Young Sinner.’ Turing was forced to endure conversion therapy, a medical practice which the entirety of the LBGT+ community is not yet protected against under the law. Mercury fell victim to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, passing away from the disease in 1991 – just a day after he’d announced that he had the condition.

Besides ostracisation and tragic ends, what do these historical figures have in common? They’re all men. The vast majority of LGBT+ history is weighted heavily on the G – the experiences of gay men. There is minimal coverage – in classrooms and the media – of the stories and accomplishments of lesbian, bisexual and trans people. Multi-award winning activist Ray Woolford will be tackling the question ‘Where are our queer women in history’ with a specialist talk on Kath Duncan a U.K. civil rights leader. There will be plenty of other talks to look forward to that will address issues faced by under-represented communities.    

Be a part of the conversation with The Joy Club…

If we are to continue making the world a better and safer place for LGBT+ people, it is essential that we continue to engage in open conversations about issues concerning this community. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Practitioner Taz will host an expert-led workshop on ‘Getting involved with the conversation’ which will familiarise members with the appropriate terminology surrounding these sensitive topics. We hope that, by giving as many people the opportunity to engage in these conversations, we can help to shape a better future for more vulnerable members of the LGBT+ community. All of the specialist talks and workshops will be welcoming to all, regardless of gender or sexuality. We will provide a safe space for you to openly ask questions and engage with the pressing issues affecting queer communities, opening up conversations for February and beyond.

Celebrate LGBT+ History Month with us by taking a look at our calendar of 100+ live online events

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