UCL marks LGBT+ History Month 2022
27 January 2022
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!
- LGBT+ History Month events from Students' Union UCL
- LGBTQ+ History Month Film Festival: The Social Research Institute is hosting screenings of four movies created by UCL staff and students, with the latest screenings taking place via Zoom on 21 and 23 February
- The UCL Ear Institute wants to hear your nominations of notable queer figures in science (present or past). Please include a photograph and brief summary of the person you are nominating and – if you can – why you particularly would like to nominate them, and send these to Ricky Kemp. The nominations will be collated and featured in the EDI and Ear Institute newsletters.
- 9 February [online] Book now for Hide & Seek: A Queer Tour Of Bloomsbury with Bob Mills
- 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
- 16 February [online] Join us at 6pm for a screening of Pride, directed by Matthew Warchus. We will follow this up with an opportunity to discuss the sentiments and meaning portrayed in this true story. Grab your dinner, pot of tea or bowl of popcorn and settle in!
- 22 February [online] Join the Ear Institute for a talk on organised gay youth in the 70s and 80s, with reference to the youth group history in Bloomsbury.
- 24 February [online] The Log Books – A discussion with the creators of the award winning podcast for LGBT+ History Month
- 24 February [online] Join a guest lecture on recognising queer heritage in buildings and places
- 3 March [online] 1–2pm Lunch Hour Lecture: Telling stories about LGBTIQ+ forced migration
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more – networks and resources
- UCL’s Staff Equalities networks include networks for LGBTQ+ staff members, including the LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group.
- See the UCL School of Management's list of books to read to celebrate LGBT+ History Month.
- Student Support and Wellbeing: Information and support for LGBTQ+ students.
- 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).
- UCL History’s list of essential LGBT+ history resources, as recommended by staff and students (2021).
- See SSEES's collection of resources relating to LGBT+ issues in the SSEES region.
- LGBT+ History Month official website