LGBTQ+ History Month, February 2023
It’s February, which makes it LGBTQ+ History Month! This month is a celebration of queer and trans achievements throughout history. This is especially important given the lack of LGBTQ+ education in school systems. LGBTQ+ History Month was founded by Rodney Wilson in 1994. He was a US teacher who came out to his class the same year.
What Have We Achieved so Far?
LGBTQ+ History Month is about celebrating all our wins. Over the past century the LGBTQ+ community has come a long way. Many countries around the world have now decriminalised homosexuality. In the past two years, Switzerland, Chile, Slovenia, Costa Rica and Cuba all legalised same-sex marriage. In 2022, the US congress passed a bill protecting same-sex marriage in the US – although this should not have been up for debate given the 2015 ruling in favour of marriage equality.
It has been over 40 years since the Stonewall Riots and the first ever Gay Liberation march. Every June, there are countless Pride parades around the world to celebrate how far we have come.
Scotland Plans to Teach LGBTQ+ History
In 2021, Scotland became the first country in the world to include LGBTQ+ inclusive education across the entire school curriculum. Their aim is not only to promote more equality and acceptance, but also to reduce bullying and discrimination of queer and trans students. There is a plan for a website accessible to all staff and students where they can get information about LGBTQ+ youth. There will also be a toolkit of LGBTQ+ inclusive teaching resources and a 101 awareness course for staff members.
This would set an example for other education systems. However, not every country agrees. In the US, Republicans are trying to pass a bill that would prohibit the teaching of LGBTQ+ history in schools and libraries. This ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill allows parents to sue in federal court if their child is taught about LGBTQ+ issues.
Without education, LGBTQ+ history cannot be taught to younger generations to come. This leads to an erasure of queer and trans moments throughout history. Not teaching about the past does not erase it. Queer and trans people have existed for centuries and suppressing our stories only harm us.
This lack of acknowledgement of LGBTQ+ lives was also present during the HIV epidemic. Many queer and trans people died due to the government not acknowledging the severity of the virus at first. Therefore, we urge governments not to erase us and our history!
Celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month at GenderGP
GenderGP is dedicated to fighting for LGBTQ+ equality. Our GenderGP family consists of many people from the LGBTQ+ community. Let’s celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month together!
We still have a long way to go regarding LGBTQ+ rights around the world. However, we should also be allowed to celebrate our wins. By teaching children about queer and trans history, especially the history of LGBTQ+ people of colour and the working class, we become more inclusive and open-minded people. If you are cis and straight, educate yourself this LGBTQ+ History Month and become the best ally you can possibly be. It is important we learn about our history in order to better the future for all LGBTQ+ people.