LGBT+ History Month 2021

News | Posted on Wednesday 27 January 2021

To celebrate this year's LGBT+ History Month the University is holding a wide range of events throughout February.

The LGBT+ Pride flag flies beside Central Hall.

Every February, LGBT+ History Month aims to increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The month raises awareness on the community's history, lives and experiences in education, culture and society; this year's theme is Body, Mind and Spirit. We welcome students, staff and the public to join in with our events and conversations.

What's on?

You'll find details below of the events that we're organising; you can also find them on our Equality and Diversity Events Calendar - and if you subscribe to this calendar, or to individual events, the details will be added to your own calendar so you don't miss things that you're interested in!

Related activities and news

As part of LGBT+ History Month 2021 we have unveiled an All Inclusive crossing point on campus which incorporates the colours of the Progress Pride Flag. We were also pleased to announce recently that one of our new colleges will be named after famous LGBT+ diarist Anne Lister.

We've also created a series of staff and student profiles to highlight what LGBT+ History Month means to members of our community.


The Log Books: stories from our LGBTQ+ history

Thursday 4 February, 1pm - 2pm

Composite image shows people working on a switchboard with written text behind them. Main text of image reads Log Books, and there's a logo for a British Podcasts Gold Award.

This event features the creators of the award winning podcast, The Log Books. The podcast explores the UK's LGBTQ+ history through the handwritten archives of Switchboard, the LGBT+ helpline established in 1974. Tash Walker and Adam Zmith will explore some of their favourite stories of the people who called into Switchboard, the common themes uncovered within its archives and the helpline's significance in UK LGBTQ+ history.

The talk will include a Q&A. Please note that the event will be recorded for those unable to attend and published on the Equality Office YouTube channel.

Find out more and book your tickets

Listen to the Log Books podcast

Anne Lister's Queer and Natural History

Tuesday 16 February, 4.30pm

Portrait of Anne Lister

Portrait of Anne Lister (1791-1840), by Joshua Horner, ca. 1830, via Wikimedia Commons

What intellectual traditions did the Yorkshire polymath and diarist Anne Lister (1791-1840) draw upon to chart her singular path as a landowner, traveller, and undaunted lover of women?

With a brief account of the classically-derived tradition of natural history and passing through the Shakespeare's phrasings along the way, this lecture will explore Lister's brilliant synthesis of theology, Latin poetry, and natural history to naturalize her "ways" – to the point where she could assert "when we leave nature, we leave our only steady guide, and, from that moment, become inconsistent with ourselves" as a kind of queer motto. One last, larger stake in this inquiry thus concerns whose side nature might actually be on in debates about gender and sexuality – and when. If nature itself could serve so well to authorise her queer embodiment, what new arguments about natural authority and cultural membership might Anne Lister's diaries bequeath to present-day readers?

Find more information and register to attend

Jonathan Blake: HIV/AIDS and the LGSM Movement

Friday 19 February

Join YUSU LGBTQ+ for a special guest talk and Q&A with Jonathan Blake!

Jonathan Blake was one of the first people in the UK to be diagnosed with HIV in the UK in the early 1980s and has been an advocate for LGBT+ rights for over three decades. He was involved with the campaign group Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) and was portrayed in the film Pride by Dominic West.
Jonathan will be delivering a talk about attitudes towards HIV and AIDS, along with a history of the Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners movement. There will also be some time after Jonathan's talk for a Q&A session.

Find out more and book your ticket

Any Other Business

Tuesday 23 February, 3pm - 4.30pm

Montage of stills from the film Any Other Business, with logos of the University of York, LGBT+ Networks, ESRC, NHS Employers, Stonewall, and ENEI. Text reads LGBT+ Networks proudly presents Any Other Business.

Join us for the premiere of LGBT+ Networks' film Any Other Business followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and the launch of our free digital toolkit.

This film tells the story of Natasha, a lesbian cisgender media officer at Greenwell Trust and the LGBT+ employee network Voice. As the incoming chair of Voice, Natasha faces some fundamental questions about the purpose of the network, issues around inclusion, and where the network is heading.

Find out more and book your tickets

Decolonising the Curriculum

24/02/21, 1.30 - 3pm

This discussion event will explore what it means to decolonise and diversify the curriculum, looking at significant debates and developments in this area and discussing how we are working to diversify and decolonise the curriculum at the University of York. Questions for discussion include: 

  • What do we mean by 'decolonising and diversifying' the curriculum?
  • Does decolonising and diversifying the curriculum give us an opportunity to advance other equalities, alongside race, and how can we take an intersectional approach?
  • Is the curriculum gendered?
  • What might decolonising and diversifying the curriculum look like in practice? 
  • How can we create an LGBT+ inclusive curriculum?
  • How can we work with students to decolonise and diversify the curriculum?
  • What role do 'allies' have in decolonising and diversifying the curriculum?

LGBT+ human rights defenders in the time of a pandemic

Friday 26 February, 12pm - 1pm

To celebrate LGBT+ history month, The Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) has invited three of its former visiting human rights defender fellows to reflect on what defending LGBT+ rights looks like in the time of a global pandemic. We will hear from a current London-based LGBT+ funder and two Kenyan grassroots LGBT+ human rights defenders on global and local perspectives to LGBT+ defense.

Find out more and register for the session

Matthew Todd: LGBTQ+ Mental Health

Friday 26 February, 6pm

Join YUSU LGBTQ+ for a special guest talk and Q&A from Matthew Todd, multi-award winning author of Straight Jacket: Overcoming Society's Legacy of Gay Shame and Pride: The Story of the LGBT Equality Movement; he is also the ex-editor of Attitude magazine and has been involved with LGBT advocacy for over 25 years.

Matthew will give a talk on mental health within the LGBTQ+ community, as well as discuss the importance of LGBTQ+ history and the important relevance it has today. The talk will end with a Q&A session.

Find out more and book your ticket

Find more events

There are other LGBT+ History Month events taking place within the city and across the country:


You can also find relevant policies, guidance documents and resources via the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion web pages.

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
+44 (0)1904 324680

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
+44 (0)1904 324680