What is LGBTQ+ History Month?
LGBTQ+ History Month is a month-long annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual trans, and non-binary history, including the history of LGBTQ+ rights and related civil rights movements. In the United Kingdom it is celebrated in February each year, to coincide with the 2003 abolition of Section 28. LGBT+ History Month was initiated in the UK by Schools Out UK and first took place in February 2005. The event is intended to raise awareness of, and combat prejudice against, LGBTQ+ people and history.
This year's theme is 'Behind the Lens'. This theme was chosen to shine a light on all people who are instrumental in creating TV and film; highlighting the work of LGBTQ+ people in this field, both in the past and present. The theme is also linked to how LGBTQ+ lives are portrayed in the media versus the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people.
Events open to staff and students
Kaleidoscope, our LGBTQ+ Staff and PGR network at the University, has a great line up of events and activities open to Network members and the general community for this year's LGBTQ+ History Month. Members-only events include: a staff and student discussion group on 9 February in collaboration with the SU, and an evening social event on 13 February. There will also be a staff-only LGBTQ+ community and allies discussion group on 20 February. For more information about any of these events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To round off celebrations this month, the C&I team have collaborated with Kaleidoscope to arrange an open-to-all, high-profile speaker event with activist and Stonewall award-winner Laila El-Metoui on 17 February. You can register for this event at the Eventbrite page.
The Library has a list of books that celebrates LGBTQ+ voices and includes novels, biographies and non-fiction recommended by students, staff and the SU. Additionally, if you’re looking for even more LGBTQ+ viewing recommendations, you can also check out the Library's LGBTQ+ film and TV selections through the University’s Box of Broadcasts subscription – perfect for any ‘Behind the Lens’ themed get-togethers you’re throwing, or for your own enjoyment!
Student Support’s monthly LGBTQ+ Brunch and Support group is on 28 February, and to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month they’ll be talking about their LGBTQ+ heroes, inspirations and icons – as well as anything else students want to discuss that day, which might include anything from book recommendations to recent experiences of coming out, to sharing what it’s like being LGBTQ+ across different cultures and countries. More information about this group for any student who is questioning or exploring their LGBTQ+ identity can be found on the LGBTQ+ Brunch and Support webpage.
Careers service invites you to explore 'Equality, diversity and your career: LGBT+ students' webpage and find out advise around disclosing your sexuality, gender identity or transgender status at various recruitment stages from application to starting in your new role.
Colleagues in Academic Registry have published webpage guides for current students and graduates/former students to change their name/gender/pronouns.
Would you like to find out more about being at LGBTQ+ ally? Want to show other staff and students you are an ally to the LGBTQ+ community? Then why not take part in our Kaleidoscope verified allies programme. Find out more about LGBT+ allyship training and how to access it here.
Staff Development team invites colleagues who are interested in attending further training to check out the online training course 'Supporting Transgender Staff and Students' available as part of additional training offering at the University. To find the course, use the search icon on this webpage and enrol.
Student Support and Safeguarding invite you to access their Be the Change webpage, which feature lots of rescources on supporting the LGBTQ+ community with guides on being a trans ally, and LGBTQ+ allyship. If you have experienced transphobia, homophobia or biphobia, you can also use the Support and Report tool to seek support or make a report if you wish. The University is committed tackling all forms of harassment and discrimination to foster an inclusive community.
The C&I team encourages staff and students to check out our online training packages on the ED&I webpage. You'll find modules on Inclusive Language, Unconscious Bias, ED&I Overview and Being an Equality Ally. You can also find information on pronouns on the Pronouns and Inclusivity Guidance page.
PRISM Exeter’s Speakers series returns for a fifth year on the evening of Monday 13 February in Exeter Library, Castle Street, EX4 3PQ (and broadcast on Zoom). The Speakers series platforms LGBTQ+ professionals from the STEMM sector, providing a fresh look at the types of people who work in the sector and highlighting the barriers to their inclusion and progression. Tech recruiter and Isca Apollo FC founder, Lewis Bell, will speak about the shared need for LGBTQ+ role models in tech and football. Physicist Dr David Newman will talk about his work with layered magnetic materials at the Diamond Light Source and the support he received from LGBTQ+ organisations across Exeter during his coming-out journey. Read more about the event and book your online audience ticket on the Eventbrite page
STEM, LGBTQ and You are running an in-person and online conference on 24 February including presentations from LGBTQ+ people studying and working in STEM, about their research, their LGBTQ+ and/or STEM journeys, and the experiences they have had along the way. There will also be a panel discussion (topic to be announced). The event is designed for everyone, regardless of whether you have a STEM background or identify as LGBTQ+, and welcomes everyone who wants to learn more about a diverse range of subjects and/or how people who identify as LGBTQ+ experience the world of STEM. You can register your attendance, and see a list of speakers, on their webpage.
The Rondo Theatre in Bath is proud to be showcasing a new play: Peacock. Written by Douglas Murdoch, this is the story of recently-out Seamus, who discovers that the journey to fully expressing your identity can be wonderful, and a bit messy. Showing on the 17-18 February, you can buy your tickets for the performance here. (We advise everyone to consider the warning tags for this play provided on the webpage).
Explore events, activities and actions you can take by visiting the official UK's LGBTQ+ History Month webpage.