LGBT History Month aims to raise of issues faced by the LGBT community and there are currently over 1,000 events planned throughout the UK.
Although celebrated throughout the UK in February the campaign continues throughout the year to educate and inform people.
Sue Sanders, Chair of LGBT History Month said: “There has been a massive change over the years. I’ve lived through all of it and seen how far we’ve come.”
Each year they have a theme with this year’s history month is focusing on Citizenship, PSHE and Law as this year marks 50 years since the law was changed in England and Wales to legalise homosexuality.
Michael Richardson, development officer at LGBT Youth Scotland said: “LGBT History Month is an opportunity for reflection on how far we’ve come – here in Scotland, and in the world at large – in the fight for LGBTI+ liberation, and to highlight the often hidden histories of the people and communities who have been part of that fight. This year, our poster features a timeline focused on Scotland’s LGBTI+ history, highlighting some of our personal and political milestones, and it’s heartening to see how far we’ve come in such a short space of time. A lot of people are surprised to find that homosexuality wasn’t decriminalised in Scotland until 1980. Sometimes the most powerful part of LGBT History Month can be the opportunity for celebration, to come together as a community or as communities and celebrate how far we’ve come.”
To help with education and inclusiveness throughout the year the LGBT History Month has created 70 lesson plans and have another 30 ready to publish.
School can often be difficult place for young people who identify as being LGBT+.
Michael Richardson said: “Two of the most common issues young people tell us about are education and mental health, and it’s easy to see the link between the two. Our most recent survey shows that almost 70% of LGBT young people in Scotland have experienced homophobic, biphobic and/or transphobic bullying in school, 43.6% of young people who have experienced homophobic or biphobic bullying and 69.2% of young people who have experienced transphobic bullying consider themselves to have a mental health problem. Since 2014, we’ve used the last Friday of LGBT History Month to highlight LGBTI+ young peoples’ experiences. We ask people and organisations who stand up against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia to wear purple and join us in our Purple Friday celebration. This year, we’re asking people to tell us their Purple Hero – the person who really made a difference in their own story – using the hashtag #PurpleHero”
Speaking about LGBT education in schools Ms Sanders said: “Some schools are doing well with education but some schools are still not so good, but Ofsted tends to give them a hard time when they find out.”
Paisley is hosting events throughout February in order to celebrate LGBT History Month.
Paisley Museum will be holding an exhibition of work from the late Paisley photographer Ian Passmore.
The exhibition called Five Crossroads to a Gay Space will run at the museum from January 31 and has since been extended to run until March 12 with free admission.
The exhibition consists of a series of poignant photographs and calligraphy works that relate to his life growing up in 1960’s Paisley, when homosexuality was still illegal.
Ian Passmore began to explore his life through arts shortly after being made redundant.
The events that are being held are critical to help bring awareness to important issues and the lives that people have lived.
Andrea Kusel, Curator of Art at Paisley Museum said: “At the current time it is more important than ever to contradict the politics of ignorance and fear. Renfrewshire Leisure is committed to equal opportunities and our proposed Paisley Museum redevelopment seeks to tell the “Untold Story” of our town and its people, which is necessarily inclusive. It is in this context that we considered the acquisition of the Ian Passmore archive from Our Story Scotland so appropriate.”
Paisley Arts Centre
The Paisley Arts Centre and the LGBT+ Society of the University of the West of Scotland are hosting two films.
Rent will be shown on February 9 and Pride on February 16 both of which will have post show discussions looking at the themes and the events of the films.
The centre is also hosting film viewings of the films of Die Mommie Die on February 7 and Prick Up Your Ears on February 16.
If you’re a young person then LGBT Youth Scotland has information on groups and events throughout Scotland.