We celebrate this February and every February to inform and educate around a simple truth : LGBT+ people exist, have always existed and will forever exist. This month is used to profile figures from history that are not always known to the general population as being from our community. It has had good success in raising the profile of Alan Turing, for example, revealing narratives of oppression that can shock and dismay a naive heteronormative mind. We aim to gather recognition and understanding from the majority society. And to embrace our history and our present with pride – not to be merely tolerated, to have full equality and respect.
The simple act of identification as LGBT+ can inspire a sense of solidarity, an idea of shared culture and worth. An invaluable act when far too often, LGBT+ community history has been steeped in ridicule and discrimination. As socialists we should always align with the power of hidden stories and the strength of social history.
We must remember the rights won by previous campaigners were not won easily or by common assent. And we should always be on the side of the oppressed and never the oppressor.
Celebrating LGBT+ History Month is an essential act in 2021 at a time of massive spikes in recorded hate crime, a rise in far right policies and very real threat to equality rights, and in Left Unity, we’ll continue to campaign to ensure that PCS is as inclusive and diverse as possible.
Perhaps one day, in a distant nirvana, we won’t require a particular month to focus on, until then download the materials, read the links and celebrate LGBT+ history month together.
By Bridget Corcoran
Bridget is standing for the NEC as part of the Democracy Alliance. Click here for the Democracy Alliance election list and as Assistant Secretary of the DWP GEC as part of the Left Unity list. Click here for the Left Unity DWP GEC list.