LGBT+ History Month—its origins and the important 50th anniversary celebrated this year

LGBT+ History Month is celebrated each February in the UK and in October in the US—here's what the event represents and why it's so important

LGBT+ History Month: Happy Multiracial people celebrating gay pride event - Group of friends with different age and race fighting for gender equality rights
(Image credit: Alessandro Biascioli)

LGBT+ history month is being celebrated across the UK and as the month in recognition of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.

Whether you're a member of the community or an LGBTQ+ ally, February is the month in which the UK pays respect to those who've fought and continue to fight for equality and against the tide of homophobia.

More specifically, per the LGBT+ History Month (opens in new tab) website, "The overall aim of LGBT+ History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public.

Although the vast majority of countries celebrate it in October, as that lines up with National Coming Out Day in the US on October 11. It also commemorates the first and second LGBT+ marches to the US capital Washington DC.

In the UK, the event is celebrated in February as it was in February 2003 that the controversial, homophobic Section 28 was finally abolished. Section 28 was a series of laws that prohibited the 'promotion' of homosexuality—including removing anything with LGBT+ references from schools.

2022 is also a very important anniversary in the LGBT community as it marks 50 years since the first-ever Pride march in the UK.


Who started LGBT+ history month?

LGBT+ History Month (opens in new tab) was founded back in 1994 by a Missouri high school history teacher named Rodney Wilson. 

The UK's celebration was founded in collaboration with Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick, co-chairs of LGBT+ charity Schools OUT, who first founded the event in 2005.

What is the LGBT+ History Month 2022 theme?

Inspired by an early slogan in the LGBT+ rights movement, "the personal is political," and there being nothing more personal than art—this year's theme is 'Politics in Art.'

Discussing the theme and how they chose to move it forward Sue and Paul explained they, "looked for five artists (one each to represent the L,G,B,T and ‘+’ of the community) who had used their talents for 'political' ends, or expressed their orientation through their work and decided on our Five Faces for 2022."

The artists they chose were Keith Haring, Doris Brabham Hatt, Fiore de Henriquez, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Mark Aguhar.

The charity explained, "Keith Haring‘s dancing figures are a perfect example as they were used to draw attention to the growing AIDS crisis of the early 1980s. Doris Brabham Hatt and Fiore de Henriquez both fought against fascism in the 1930s. Jean-Michel Basquiat began as a graffiti artist and Mark Aguhar‘s life 'and mere existence was an act of confronting white hegemony'.

Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.