LGBT History Month 2023
Updated: 3 hours ago
So much progress and so much more to do! Our rainbow family photo is a testimony of the fundamental societal change that took place in my lifetime when it comes to LGBT+ inclusion and acceptance. I grew up at a time when we did not speak about sexuality and difference and coming out was a thing.
I have been unable to name what I was till I reached my early 20s. The few times I heard the term “Homo” (French equivalent to “Gay”) was to describe a "weird" distant cousin sick with AIDS. I was exposed to the term “Pédé” (short for “Pédéraste” and French equivalent for “Fag”) to describe something negative or strange. Fast forward to the 2020s, I am married and father to a little girl. The UK has launched its first LGBT inclusive census, collecting data on the community. Having trans, gay or lesbian characters in movies and sitcoms have become the norm - the show Heartstopper is a must watch! -, not to say a must-have. And yet somehow, the world does not feel as safe and opened as it should.
The only certainty is change and change is not linear. I am conscious that nothing is ever granted and the pendulum could swing the other way. LGBT History month helps us to remember. To remember where we came from. To remember how much is yet to be done. To remember the people who made such a huge difference through their compassion, courage and authenticity. It is also a platform to educate the wider community on what it means to be LGBT+, its history and its challenges. There is still a lot to be done, not least of which is to be treated as human being / a man. I had a stark reminder of that a while back during a conversation with a taxi driver - apparently gay men are not men but we are very nice people so that’s ok!... - Initiatives such as the Resource and Education Pack written and produced by the Proud Trust will go a long way to help. So, I am optimistic. None of that existed when I was growing up; we could not even discuss the topic. So much social progress in such a short period of time is a case for celebration. Happy LGBT History Month Everyone!
LGBT+ History Month was started back in 2005, to ensure that LGBT+ people, in all their diversities, are visible. We wanted to claim our past, celebrate our present, and create our future. Working with young people will we hope, make sure that we do all three.