Why do we celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month at the University?

Posted in: LGBT+ history

LGBTQ+ History Month was founded in 2004, in response to the repeal of Section 28 in 2003.  

What was Section 28? 

Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 was a series of laws introduced by the Conservative UK Government under Margaret Thatcher to prevent the “promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities. There was much confusion as to whether this applied to schools or not, so many teachers were cautious and declined to speak about queer identities with their pupils. 

How does this affect the University? 

Up until very recently, we will have been welcoming students here who would have grown up not being able to ask their teachers, counsellors, or others in the schooling system about their identity. There is every chance teachers may still not feel comfortable having these discussions with students, having not been educated on these issues themselves. We have a duty to students to allow them to bring their whole selves to the University, something which they may have not felt comfortable doing at School. 

Our University Strategy supports the view that we wish to build an “inclusive environment where everyone is supported to be themselves and reach their full potential”. This means people with minority sexualities and gender identities should be supported by the whole University community to feel accepted and welcome here at Bath. Celebrating commemorative months like LGBTQ+ History Month is important as it shows our students and staff that we recognise it is a struggle to be out as queer, and we care about making University an accepting place for everyone. 

What does celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month mean in practice? 

Celebrating this month allows us to: 

  • claim our past 
  • celebrate our present 
  • create our future 

The founders of the month, Schools OUT UK, state: “We wanted to create a dedicated opportunity to share our rich and diverse history so everyone could learn more.” 

Here at Bath, Kaleidoscope are running a range of events across the month including: 

  • Georgian history talk 
  • Timeline collage workshop 
  • Alumni panel 

 You can find out more about these events and sign up here. 

Posted in: LGBT+ history


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