Sue Sanders: Chair – Schools OUT UK, Professor Emeritus – The Harvey Milk Institute, Cofounder of LGBT+ History Month UK

Photography: Nicolas Chinardet – zefrographica

LGBT+ History Month is 16 years old, and in February 2021 will – like everything during the current COVID crisis – look somewhat different to previous years’ celebrations. We hope that our community will show their amazing skills and creativity to ensure that we continue the tradition of celebrating and educating everyone about the rich, diverse history of the LGBT+ community, making the Rainbow Village more visible than ever.

We have a huge selection of resources and information on lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk to make this year’s theme – ‘Body, Mind, Spirit’ – accessible for all. As in previous years we have chosen five faces to embody it. Posters and factsheets on each of them are available to download for free on our resources page. For educators, there are also resources specifically written for primary schools by John Yates-Harold, a primary school headteacher who appeared on the World Pride Power List in 2012. As in other years, our partners at The Proud Trust have created a History Month education pack for secondary schools and youth groups. We also encourage people to post their online events on our interactive calendar. With the country back in lockdown, such events are more crucial this year than ever.

OUTing the Past, an affiliated project, continues to thrive, and this year has 18 hubs across England, Ulster, Eire, and even New York (for a third year). The public have over 70 presentations on LGBT+ history to choose from. Venue details, dates and programmes can be found at outingthepast.com. As you’d expect, the festival is being held online this year.

Finally and importantly, I urge everybody to buy our 2021 badge and lanyards. They are the most vital source of funding for the work we do – we receive no core funding. All of the initiatives you’ve just read about and their maintenance are enacted by passionate unpaid volunteers. If you’d like to buy badges in bulk quantities for your work‘s LGBT+ network group, we have that facility, so the more badges you buy the cheaper they are. Whether individually or corporately, your generosity really is our lifeline.

I hope you have a fabulous, if different, LGBT+ History Month 2021.

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