February is the month of St. Valentine’s day, and therefore, universally recognised as the month of love. In Lancashire, February is also the official LGBT History Month. Some of you might have noticed the university raise the rainbow flag over campus as a sign of solidarity with its LGBT students, and staff, as well as to signify support.
Throughout the entirety of February there are events in Lancaster, and surrounding areas, which are all meant to celebrate members of the LGBT community, as well as to be educational and informational.
This year the month is dedicated to Law, Citizenship and PSHE.
The theme as especially fitting, since this year, it’s officially been 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales. It’s a wonderful moment to participate in a series of events, talks, and film screenings which are for the most part free of charge, and of course, open to the public, in order for them to become better informed. This is particularly important for younger members of the LGBT community, who may not have a sense of the monumental amount of effort that’s been put into acquiring equal rights for LGBT people over the years.
This year Preston is the official hub for the National Festival of LGBT history, but there are several events in Lancaster as well.
On Wednesday (Feb 22) at the Lancaster Library there will be a free screening of the documentary “Brother Outsider”, which has won multiple awards, and which chronicles the life of civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. There will also be a series of presentations under the title OUTing the Past, on a variety of topics surrounding the history of the LGBT community, and the LGBT community in history. It will be an extremely educational event for those who plan on attending, as well as a time to look into, and recognise, that LGBT people have always existed as part of society.
With the rapid rise of unchecked bigotry globally, this kind of event, and facilitation of discussion in a safe environment is particularly important, and the show of support from local communities is especially needed. Lancaster students can access resources on matters regarding the LGBTQ+ community on the university page as well as through the LUSU LGBTQ+ association page. There are many ways to get involved.