By Rachel Cronin
It’s finally February which means it’s LGBT+ History Month in the UK. Usually, hundreds of events would be available to members of the community and allies hosted by Strathclyde University, LGBT Youth Scotland and many independent organisations around Glasgow and the rest of the UK. However, as we’ve heard time and time again recently, with the ongoing pandemic, this year’s learning and celebrations have taken a digital turn- but not to worry, we’re all experts on Zoom by now anyway, right?
LGBT Youth Scotland announced previously that this year’s theme for LGBT History Month is Intersectionality and the celebration of unsung people of the community. The organisation have teamed up with queer trailblazers and heroes to lead informative discussions on a wide range of topics and have already hosted two great events to start off the month; one featuring writer and activist Dr Kevin Guyan, who discussed the links between data and identity on February 2, and on February 4, Russell T. Davies was interviewed about his new Channel4 series It’s A Sin.
If you missed these events, there’s no need to worry. More events are happening for the rest of the month and we have rounded up some of them for you:
‘Queer Voices from The Pandemic’ (February 9) is a video history project presented by Dorothy Merryman, who will show clips from the project along with a discussion about research findings, ongoing field work and the challenges of conducting research during the pandemic.
No Valentine’s Day plans? No problem! Dr Carol Shepherd, global expert on bisexual Christian identity and author of Bi: The Way, will be leading a talk exploring the history of bisexuality on Sunday February 14. A fun and informative date for one!
The ‘Football versus Homophobia’ panel will host several events and include discussions from queer sports journalists and athletes, such as Sky Sports LGBT+ editor and writer Jon Holmes, trans sports journalist Emma Faith and non-binary footballer and sports journalist JP Casey. The speakers will be discussing queer youth leaders in football and their experiences with the sports journalism industry while being LGBT+.
These are only some of many events. More events, detailed information, and tickets for online events are available through the LGBT Youth Scotland website.
And if you hate Zoom – which let’s face it, we all do after a whole semester online – you’re in luck! Glasgow Women’s Library have helped organise Stride with Pride: The LGBTQ Heritage Trail. A group of resourceful volunteers at the Women’s Library have put together a map of some of Glasgow’s most important queer landmarks and buildings, in an informative heritage trail. The map with audio descriptions for each landmark are available from their website,ensuring your government mandated exercise for the day is a fun queer learning experience.
Strathclyde University have also announced that they’ll be taking part in Purple Friday on February 26, for a third consecutive year. This will include the University’s Thomas Graham building and the Strathclyde Sport facility being lit up in purple lights in solidarity with LGBTQIA+ students.
So, despite the lack of face-to-face events, this LGBT+ History Month is set to be full of learning experiences and a variety of engaging activities for many to enjoy.