Did January fly by for anyone else or was that just me? The beginning of the year disappeared so quickly that we’re already into Valentine’s season, complete with every shop being decked out in red hearts and pink streamers. Personally, I recommend a red-themed Valentine’s party for those of you wanting to celebrate, or a Secret Santa rip-off titled Secret Valentine’s, in which every ends up with a card and gift regardless of their relationship status.
This month, however, is also significant in another way. February is, at least for the UK (and Hungary), LGBT History Month. An annual event founded originally in 1994, LGBT History Month has occurred yearly in the UK since 2005, intending to raise awareness and combat prejudice against the LGBTQ+ community. It also celebrates the achievements of the community, as well as their diversity.
With the yearly tagline of “Claiming our past. Celebrating our present. Creating our future”, LGBT History Month aims to target the community as a whole, but also the curriculum of students in primary and secondary age groups, providing resource packs with lesson plans and activities across multiple years. The month also has a yearly theme, working its way through the various subjects to give the month guidance. For 2023, that’s “Art: Behind the Lens”, focusing on LGBTQ+ contributions to cinema and film from behind the camera.
That means we’re not talking about actors, but instead the vast array of roles that happen to create cinema: directors, screen writers, animators, costume designers, lighting directors, musicians, choreographers and more. As their statement says, “At a time when LGBT+ lives are in the media we also encourage you to look ‘Behind the Lens’ and listen to LGBT+ peoples’ lived experiences”.
Throughout the month, we intend to showcase some LGBTQ+ art, potentially straying a little from the theme. As well as LGBTQ+ movie recommendations – focused on LGBTQ+ figures of history – we’ll also be pulling together books and poetry on the blog that can give us all a deeper understanding of the lived experience of LGBTQ+ people.
We’ll also be sharing a series of influential LGBTQ+ figures, past and present in a range of subjects across our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you can gain bitesized pieces of information about the LGBTQ+ people who have shaped our world.
Plus, on campus, there’s a whole host of events to celebrate the month. Here’s a list I’ve curated just for you – don’t be fooled by some of them being hosted by the student LGBTQIA+ Society! They’re all open to staff and students:
- All month long – Augustine House will have a resource area, “Behind the Lens” display, and Stress Less area with books and activities
- Sunday 5th, 7pm – LGBTSoc’s Big Quiz Takeover at The Lounge (£2 entry, £1 going to Mermaids charity)
- Tuesday 7th, 7-11pm – LGBTSoc’s Coming Out? film viewing (location TBC)
- Wednesday 22nd, 6.30pm – God’s Own Country film viewing, VH0.04
- Thursday 23rd, 6-8pm – Stich & B*tch, via MS Teams
- Sunday 26th, 7pm – LGBTSoc’sBig Quiz Takeoverat The Lounge (£2 entry, £1 going to Mermaids charity)
- Sunday 26th, 6-8pm – LGBT+ History Month photo tinting workshop (location TBC, email five photos/images to email@example.com by Feb 20 to participate)
We also have our first Carbon Literacy Training dates of the new year! If you’re interested in doing a little better for your planet, and finding out ways you can help, both small and large, we have a one-hour taster session on February 6th, or we’re running the full, accredited training, in two parts across two consecutive Mondays – the 13th and 20th. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a spot, or for staff, register through My Learning on Staff Space!
Plus, all the way at the end of the month and into the first few weeks of March, it’s Fairtrade Fortnight! We’ll be doing a few fun events to celebrate – so keep a look out for those!
Have a safe and happy February, and I’ll see you again next month!
By Bethany Climpson, Sustainability Engagement Assistant