Read this short piece by LGBTQ+ chair Tam Page, talking about the significance behind celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month
As LGBTQ+ History Month begins, there is the question of why the month is celebrated. Whilst it is slowly becoming easier to be an LGBTQ+ individual in our society, this is not the case everywhere in the world, and nor was it always the case in history. From the Stonewall Riots in 1969, triggered by a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, to more recent examples of individuals being discriminated against and attacked for their sexual or gender orientation, it has certainly never been easy to be a LGBTQ+ individual. LGBTQ+ History Month is an opportunity for education and pride; a chance to spread awareness about the ongoing fight for equality, and a chance to celebrate diversity and inclusion.
I would implore everyone this month to pay attention not just to the history of the cause, but to make a conscious effort to support LGBTQ+ people in everyday life; from respecting preferred pronouns and names to ensuring your loved ones know that you are a safe person to come out too, there are a variety of ways everyone can get involved and show their support in simple ways day to day. Getting into this habit will help to make our university, and society in general, a more welcoming, inclusive place for everyone.
It is also a chance to make our voices heard. There is no better time to speak out about inequality, homophobia, or discrimination. During this month, there are often events to participate in and fun to be had, but it’s important to remember that the fight for equality is an ongoing one, and whilst we have come a very long way, there is still more to do to push back against ignorance and injustice. There are always campaigns to get involved in and experiences to be shared and learned from, so why not look into what’s happening both at the university and in your wider community and see what you can get involved in?
During this month, I am going to continue my campaign to end deadnaming in the university for good, by speaking to students, learning about their experiences, and using these experiences to highlight these issues. If you would like to anonymously share an experience, you are able to do so by completing a survey, and if you would like to speak to me directly about your experience or any ideas you have to help with the campaign, please do get in touch with us at email@example.com.