LGBTQ+ History Month 2024

News | Posted on Tuesday 30 January 2024

Every February, LGBTQ+ History Month aims to increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and raise awareness of the community's history, lives and experiences in education, culture, and society.

The theme for 2024 LGBTQ+ History month is Medicine #UnderTheScope. It's a prompt to celebrate the work and life of LGBTQ+ people that have made significant contributions to the field of medicine. We welcome students, staff and the members of the public to join in with our events and conversations.

LGBTQ+ History Month is intended to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ history, and combat prejudice against LGBTQ+ people.

We can uncover and tell the stories of those who didn't have rights, remember the lives lost through discrimination and violence, consider how history can help us move forward in the future in a way that validates, supports and champions the LGBTQ+ community, and think about how we can continue the fight against ongoing attempts to erode LGBTQ+ freedoms in the UK and around the world.

Co-Chairs of the Rainbow Alliance staff network

Last year, in the lead up to York Pride 2023 (3 June) and the University’s Pride Flag Raising event (6 June), the Rainbow Alliance Action Group, the Equality and Diversity Office, the EDI Exchange, YUSU LGBTQ+ Officers, and the GSA, ran a listening exercise to discuss how safe, inclusive, and welcoming it feels for LGBTQ+ staff and students to study and work at the University of York. Thank you to everyone who took part and made so many helpful contributions.  

Some actions are already underway - like creating LGBTQ+ web pages to help with communication, reporting concerns, and promoting training, information and support. We're also forming working groups to take forward other actions, and over the coming weeks and months we'll be asking students and staff to join any groups they are interested in.  

Working groups will aim to develop work around social engagement and peer support for LGBTQ+ staff and students; develop dedicated LGBTQ+ web pages; ensure LGBTQ+ staff and students across all departments and at levels feel included and involved; develop LGBTQ+ training and information so that staff and student leaders are more knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ issues and better able to support LGBTQ+ staff and students; and looking at the support we offer to LGBTQ+ staff and students.  

We'll also be organising some informal, in-person updates soon on campus, giving you a chance to meet LGBTQ+ networks, raise issues, hear about listening exercise progress, and meet LGBTQ+ peers over tea and coffee.

If you are interested in getting involved, look out for forthcoming communications, or join the Rainbow Alliance Staff Network or the  YUSU LGBTQ+ Student Network to keep informed of developments.

What's on?

Wednesday 14 February, 6pm to 7.30pm

Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building

Guided by Wentworth College Fellow and York RI Templars player Andrew Malcolm-Neale, this discussion-focused evening will take aim at the exclusion of LGBTQ+ people from the mental and physical health benefits of team sport.

Book for Name five gay footballers

Friday 16 February, 11am to 12.15pm

Online

A panel discussion featuring Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Ben Thomas, Jolie Keemink and Dharman Jeyasingham. Chaired by Liz Wands-Murray, part of our Rainbow Alliance staff network, who has recently completed her PhD looking at the inclusivity of community social care for older LGBTQ+ adults.

The current generation of older LGBTQ+ people have faced a lifetime of discrimination, fighting for equal rights and living through historic and ongoing inequalities and criminalisation of sexual identity in their younger lives.

Members of the panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities for delivering person-centred support to this population, the ways in which support can be made more inclusive and some of the ways in which research is helping to build a better picture of the experiences of older LGBTQ+ people in the UK.

Book for Caring for the grey in LGBTQ+

Tuesday 20 February, 6pm to 9pm

LMB/002A, Law and Management Building

We'll be watching the film Pride, which is based on the true story of a group of London-based gays and lesbians lending their support to a community of striking coal miners.

Discussion will be facilitated by Sue Westwood.

Book for Pride

Wednesday 21 February, 3pm - 4.45pm

PS/A/202, Psychology building

Panel discussion with:

  • Dr. Qazi Rahman, Co-director of the LGBT Mental Health Research Group, King's College London
  • Dr. Ruth Knight, Lecturer, York St Johns
  • Dr. Miles Rogish, University of York and York House Acquired Brain Injury Service

Join us to consider the historical context of LGBTQ+ mental health, the inequalities in mental health faced by these communities today, and how we can improve treatment in the future. We will hear three short talks from experts researching the mental health of LGBTQ+ people, working with these groups clinically, and teaching future clinicians to reflect on their practice. A panel discussion will draw on these diverse experiences to stimulate discussion of interest to a wide audience, including LGBTQ+ staff and students, their personal supervisors, and those who aim to work clinically in mental health.

No tickets required. All welcome.

The University of York is committed to making its events as welcoming and inclusive as possible. Please let us know in advance if you have any accessibility requirements, either by emailing rebecca.jackson@york.ac.uk or calling 01904 325264: we will make every effort to accommodate your needs.

Friday 23 February 7pm-9pm

The Courtyard

A YUSU LGBTQ+ History Month Drag Quiz for all students, in collaboration with the Part-time Officer Network and local organisations in the city.

Learn more and book your free tickets

Wednesday 18 February, 6pm to 8.30pm

Vanbrugh College, York

For LGBTQ+ History month, the University of York Department of History invites you to "Doing Queer History in the 2020s", an interdisciplinary roundtable. Four speakers will introduce their own research in LGBTQ+ histories, followed by discussion and questions chaired by Dr Tess Wingard (she/her). The event will explore how the field of queer history has evolved over the last decade, with the opening up of new archives and museums; the growing importance of trans and intersex histories; and greater attention to intersectionality with histories of race and colonialism.

All are welcome - we hope the wider York community will join us for an open and friendly discussion. There will be a free drinks reception after the event, for further conversation with the speakers and other attendees.

Book tickets for Doing Queer History in the 2020s

Thursday 29 February 5.30 to 7pm

BS/005 Lecture Theatre (Bowland Auditorium)

On this rarest of days in the calendar, and at the turn from winter into spring, you are warmly encouraged to bring relevant poetry (your own and/or others') to share, in anticipation of International Women's Day (8 March) and to honour LGBTQ+ History Month (February). All genders welcome. All languages welcome, if you are prepared to translate into English.

City-wide and national events

There are other LGBTQ+ History Month events taking place within the city and across the country.

York LGBT+ History Month events programme

This includes the following events being held at York St John University.

Wednesday 7 February, 4.30pm to 5.30pm

Creative Centre Auditorium, York St John University

This talk focuses on what is commonly referred to as homophobic and transphobic ‘soft hate speech’ which (unlike ‘hard’ hate) operates within the limits of the law and may be perceived as ‘sayable’ in the public sphere. 

Book for Free speech and hate speech

Tuesday 13 February, 6pm to 8pm

Creative Centre Auditorium, York St John University

Come along and listen to illustrator and author Dom&Ink talk about their work, from illustrating RuPaul's Drag Race for the BBC to writing their new graphic novel.

Book for In conversation with Dom&Ink

Wednesday 21 February, 4pm to 6pm

York St John Creative Centre

Hear Dr Chris Greenough's talk, 'Can you Adam and Eve it? Queering heterosexuality in the Genesis narrative', followed by Q+A and a drinks reception.

Book for Can you Adam and Eve it?

For national events, see the LGBT+ History Month events page.

Resources and networks

We have some recordings from previous events available for you to watch again via the University’s Celebrating Diversity and York Ideas YouTube channels. Revisit some of the following:

The Rainbow Alliance is the staff network to represent our LGBTQ+ staff community. If you would like to get involved, contact us at equality@york.ac.uk.

We are committed to creating an environment that is safe, inclusive and welcoming for all staff and students. This includes supporting people who wish to make or have made changes to their gender identity. 

We have developed guidance for supporting trans students which includes extensive information about sources of support, University processes and things to know for students wishing to transition and those staff supporting them.

We are currently developing guidance to support trans staff.

We offer regular online trans awareness training sessions for staff and postgraduates who teach which receive positive feedback from those attending. There are sessions coming up in March and June.