What is LGBT History Month?
LGBT History Month in the UK has been held every February since 2005 and celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community. This hidden history can reveal some surprising and inspiring stories.
Why do we need to do this?
Throughout history we can find many examples of people who, for one reason or another, refused to conform to the outward conventions of the sex to which they were born. We also find many stories of people who loved their own sex. Some of these people were famous; some of them obscure; and some of them experienced serious persecution. Many are remembered for the contributions they made to culture and society, whilst for the majority, the details of their personal lives were suppressed or censored, except in specialist publications. The LGBT History Month campaign advocates that to understand the LGBT present, we must first gain insight into our past, and explore and share some hidden aspects of society’s history, both recent and remote.
A Hidden History
LGBT people have often hidden themselves in society for their own safety and have also frequently had their achievements and contributions ignored. Until recently, most LGBT people preferred to avoid attention; many still do. A key part of this project is to commemorate the LGBT identities of famous historical figures, many of whom could not express these identities during their lives. Whilst this is an activity fraught with difficulty – an LGBT identity is a very modern concept and it is not always appropriate to retrospectively assign it – it is a very necessary part of highlighting how the LGBT community has shaped our past and present and continues to shape our future. As many LGBT lives have been hidden from history the project on some occasions makes assumptions of LGBT status for which there is only circumstantial evidence.
(Text courtesy of LGBT History Month).
To find out more about LGBT History Month go to: http://www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk
The UK LGBT Archive (formerly The LGBT History Project) records the history and memories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people living in the UK, from Julius Caesar to the present day. The archive, at http://www.lgbthistoryuk.org/wiki/, takes the form of a Wikipedia-style encyclopaedia with over 3,000 articles, covering every region, county, and local government district in the UK, and many famous and not so famous LGBT-related people, places, organisations and events. The articles in the encyclopaedia have been viewed over four million times. The Project has recently become a Key Partner of LGBT History Month.