For LGBT+ History Month 2020 the Students' Union has been busy arranging it's awareness stalls, as well as launching the new pronoun badges to promote inclusivity at College.

As part of our online campaign Amy Steel (HE President 2019/20) has researched all about LGBT+ history. Whilst researching she found herself wanting to include every event and person throughout history and really struggled to narrow down her research. In the end she came up with 5 key topics and links have been provided if you wish to find out more;

Why Do We Use The Rainbow Flag?

“Rainbow flags tend to be used as a sign of a new era, of hope, or of social change”. Rainbow flags have been used in many places over the centuries: in the German Peasants’ War in the 16th century, as a symbol of the Cooperative movement; as a symbol of peace, especially in Italy; to represent the Tawantin Suyu, or Inca territory, mainly in Peru and Bolivia; by some Druze communities in the Middle east; by the Jewish Autonomous Oblast; to represent the International Order of Rainbow for Girls since the early 1920s; and as a symbol of gay pride and LGBT social movements since the 1970s.
Today, the flag is flown as a sign of inclusion and welcome. When flown outside businesses, or placed in shop windows, it tells LGBT people they can relax, and feel safe to do what others’ take for granted: to hold hands or kiss their partners, to rent a hotel room together, to book a table for Valentine’s day, to demonstrate their love without hate. As an image, it reminds us of not only the diversity of sexual orientation but also of the diversity of human characteristics as a whole. (LGBT+ History Month, 2020)

Alan Turing

Alan Turing was born on 23 June 1912 in Maida Vale, London. He was an English mathematician and pioneer of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. During WW2, he was instrumental in breaking the German Enigma code, leading to Allied victory over Nazi Germany.

In 1952, Turing reported a burglary to the police, where it emerged that the perpetrator Arnold Murray was in a sexual relationship with him. As a result of anti-homosexuality laws in the UK in the 1950s, Alan was charged with gross indecency. He avoided prison by accepting chemical castration, which eventually left him impotent. Turing's security clearance was also removed and he was barred from continuing his work with cryptography at the GCHQ.

On 24 December 2013, Queen Elizabeth II signed a pardon for Turing's conviction for "gross indecency", with immediate effect. Chris Grayling said Turing deserved to be "remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort" and not for his later criminal conviction.

In September 2016, the government announced its intention to expand this retroactive exoneration to other men convicted of similar historical indecency offences, in what was described as an "Alan Turing law". The Alan Turing law is now an informal term for the law in the United Kingdom, contained in the Policing and Crime Act 2017, which serves as an amnesty law to retroactively pardon men who were cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts. The law applies in England and Wales.

Section 28 and Stonewall

Section 28 or Clause 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 caused the addition of Section 2A to the Local Government Act 1986, which effected England, Wales and Scotland. The amendment was enacted on 24 May 1988, and stated that a local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship". It was repealed on 21 June 2000 in Scotland by the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, one of the first pieces of legislation enacted by the new Scottish Parliament, and on 18 November 2003 in the rest of the United Kingdom by section 122 of the Local Government Act 2003.

The law's existence caused many groups to close or limit their activities or self-censor. For example a number of lesbian, gay and bisexual student support groups in schools and colleges across Britain were closed owing to fears by council legal staff that they could breach the act.

The introduction of Section 28 served to galvanise the disparate British gay rights movement into action. The resulting protest saw the rise of now famous groups like Stonewall, started by, amongst others, Ian McKellen and Michael Cashman, and OutRage!

Stonewall’s Mission

We're here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they're not alone.

We believe we're stronger united, so we partner with organisations that help us create real change for the better. We have laid deep foundations across Britain - in some of our greatest institutions - so our communities can continue to find ways to flourish, and individuals can reach their full potential. We’re here to support those who can’t yet be themselves.

But our work is not finished yet. Not until everyone feels free to be who they are, wherever they are. (Stonewall, 2020)

Seven People Who Changed LGBT+ History

It’s increasingly normal to see same-sex couples holding hands in public. We now celebrate marriage between two people of the same sex. Being transgender is no longer deemed a 'disorder'.

And yet, recent months have seen divisive arguments about the role of LGBT+ teaching in children's education, and a survey released last month suggests that more than two-thirds of LGBT+ people in the UK have been sexually harassed at work. LGBT+ people can also face an increased risk of mental health problems.

There’s a lot left to fight for.

Let’s remember some of the extraordinary people who have battled for gay rights.

Click here to find out more.

10 Key Dates In LGBT+ History

It’s important to remember the events which have taken place to bring us to this point in LGBT rights and history about lesbian, gay, bi and trans communities often isn’t included in our school curriculum.

A lot of campaigning and change has happened over the last half century. We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us.

So, let’s have a look at 10 significant events from LGBT history and learn more about this community and our movement towards equality!

Click here to find out more.