The LGBTQ+ community has overcome a significant number of challenges in its campaign for social equality that cannot simply be summarized with words. As an ever-growing community, battles have been fought, won and lost along the way but despite the turbulence, awareness and social freedoms are at an all-time high for the brave people beneath the rainbow banner.
This is thankfully true not just in the UK, but in many countries around the world where society has been steadily convinced to open it’s mind and embrace change. Despite the victories however, there is still much work to be done for the LGBTQ+ community in supporting those struggling with their very place in this world, championing civil rights and eroding negativity and hate. This work continues in many forms, from art installations to full-scale political rallies and beyond.
With a rich history of such cultural value building every day, LGBTQ+ History Month is now an official event worldwide. It seeks to call attention to the journey the community has already undertaken. To not only raise awareness but to inspire future generations to carry on the fight for social equality; to understand that people deserve to live a life free from oppression, discrimination and where they can simply be themselves.
Enterprise, Community and Education are core pillars of the EDGE Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. We believe in equal opportunities for all, and in the spirit of the event we would like to share some information introducing you to LGBTQ+ History Month.
What is LGBTQ+ History Month?
In the UK, LGBTQ+ history month falls in February and runs from the 1st to the 28th each year. In Ireland it falls in May, and in other countries the month falls in October most commonly. While not celebrated by all, the month is recognised and observed by: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Greenland Hungary, The U.S, UK and Ireland, as well as the city of Berlin.
Founded in 1994 by a high-school teacher named Rodney Wilson in the American state of Missouri, the month intends to provide role models, build community and represent the historic civil rights contributions made by the LGBTQ+ community.
What LGBTQ+ History Month Promotes, and How it is Achieved
The overall intent of the month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public. This is achieved through a variety of means but primarily by increasing the public visibility of LGBTQ+ people’s lives and experiences. It advances education on matters affecting the community with a special focus on making educational and other institutions safe spaces for all.
A variety of resources are provided online designed for use in both schools and businesses alike to help encourage the general public to more openly engage with the event and promote equality. In conjunction with registered charity Schools Out extra efforts are being made as a part of the month to help encourage young people to get involved and broaden their understanding of the LGBTQ+ community as well as supporting peers who may identify as a part of it.
UK LGBTQ+ History Month 2022
In Canada, Australia and the United States, the history month is held throughout October to coincide with their national ‘Coming Out Day’ which falls on the 11th of said month. In the UK however, we celebrate LGBTQ+ history in February which coincides with the 2003 celebration of the abolition of “Section 28”. This was a series of now-defunct laws which prohibited homosexual freedoms and promotion by local authorities, originally introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s government.
This year’s LGBTQ+ History Month has special significance in the UK however as it sees the 50th anniversary of the very first UK Pride March, held in 1972. UK History Month organisers have chosen Art as the national curriculum link to their theme for 2022 to commemorate this original march. A leading slogan of the early Gay Rights Movement was “the personal is the political” and it is felt by organisers that art is one of the most personal of pastimes and was deemed a fitting theme.
As such five ‘faces’, representing each of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual and plus identities respectively, were chosen to be the figureheads for the month this year. These are artists who have chosen to express their identity and orientation through their works. Keith Haring‘s dancing figures for example are being promoted as they were used to draw attention to the growing AIDS crisis of the early 1980s. Alongside this will be works by Doris Brabham Hatt and Fiore de Henriquez, Jean-Michel Basquiat who began as a graffiti artist, and Mark Aguhar.
The EDGE Perspective
We extend a warm welcome to all our LGBTQ+ EDGE customers and hope we can help you on your nicotine journey, whatever form it may take. We hope everyone will join us in observing LGBTQ+ History Month this year and embracing inclusion, understanding and equal rights. To learn more about the event, access educational resources, or to discover the calendar of events taking place across the UK this February in celebration of LGBTQ+ history, you can visit their official website.
With over 5 years within the vaping industry, Ian has amassed a wealth of knowledge that is unparalleled throughout the industry. His knowledge extends beyond e-liquids and devices, but covers safety and compliance as well as best practice and more to name but a few.