UCL marks LGBT+ History Month 2022

Rainbow flag

Rainbow flag

February is LGBT+ History Month - check out a range of events and resources here, and get in touch if you’re running an event you’d like to be featured.

A foreword from the chairs of UCL’s LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group 

LGBT+ History Month is always a time to reflect how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. This year’s theme is "The arc is long" (paraphrased from Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s quote "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice") - something that feels very poignant, especially in current times. 

Things are frightening on many fronts right now. Last December, the UK has reported on a sharp increase in both homophobic and transphobic hate crimes after the end of the 2021 lockdown. Trans healthcare is completely overwhelmed, with some types of gender-affirming surgery being put on hold indefinitely in the UK. A few days ago, the European Council has strongly criticised the UK for the rise in "highly prejudicial anti-gender, gender-critical and anti-trans narratives which reduce the fight for the equality of LGBTI people to what these movements deliberately mischaracterise as ’gender ideology’ or ’LGBTI ideology’" as such narratives "deny the very existence of LGBTI people, dehumanise them, and often falsely portray their rights as being in conflict with women’s and children’s rights, or societal and family values in general." 

In a time where it often feels like we’re stepping backwards when we should be going forwards, community is now more important than ever. LGBT+ people have always been here and will always be here - the important thing is that we stand and fight together rather than being divided amongst ourselves. This does not only include LGBT+ identities but all minorities. The Stonewall riots were led by Black trans women and queer people of colour who are still to this day disproportionately targets of violence. Disabled queer activists are still fighting for basic recognition and human rights. Together, however, they all also continue paving the way in many areas of LGBT+ recognition and liberation, driving change. 

It is our duty to come together as a community and to support and lift each other up - liberation cannot happen just for a few of us, it has to happen for all of us. We are stronger when we work together. LGBT+ History Month is a great time to reach out to your fellow queer folxs, be it as allies or part of the community yourself - organise, celebrate, offer a helping hand or ear or some time if you can spare it to work together. It might be a long and difficult road, but eventually, we will prevail. 

If you would like to join the LGBT+ Staff Group here at UCL, you can do so via Out@UCL ! Feel free to join us for any of the events we put on throughout the year.

Sebastian Groh and Noel Caliste - LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group Co-chairs 

Events and activities for LGBT+ History Month 

If you’re on campus from 5-13 and 19-28 February, keep an eye on the Portico, as we’ll be lighting it in rainbow colours to mark the month. A range of events and activities is also taking place throughout February: 

The Library’s Liberating the Collections team are looking for recommendations of books that celebrate LGTBQ+ life, culture and creativity in all its beauty and diversity - nominate your favourite!  

10 February [online] Dr Dirien Bhoresa lectures on Peripheral Desires of Ephemeral Cities: Imagining Queer Geographies in India as part of the Queering Urbanism series from The Bartlett School of Architecture 

  • 22 and 24 February [in person] "Be gay eat cake" cake stalls hosted by the Out@UCL network - more details to follow 
  • 24 February [online] The Log Books - A discussion with the creators of the award winning podcast for LGBT+ History Month  

    This webpage will be updated with additional events as they are announced - please do check back, as we expect more events to be confirmed throughout February. If you are hosting a UCL event for LGBT+ History Month that you’d like to include here, please get in touch with us at internalcommunications@ucl.ac.uk. 

    UCL’s Staff Equalities networks include networks for LGBTQ+ staff members, including the LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group. 

    qUCL - this university-wide initiative brings together UCL staff and students with research and teaching interests in LGBTQ studies, gender and sexuality studies, queer theory and related fields. 

    "A History of Gaysocs" - a UCL Special Collections blogpost looking at the internal documents shedding light on the history of LGBTQI+ student life at UCL (June 2021) 


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