A panel of Black speakers at the Black History Month 2022: The Joy of Hair event

LGBTQ+ History Month

Join us as we celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month 2023. This year's theme is Love and Strength Through Community.

Happy LGBTQ+ History Month 2023! This year's theme is Love & Strength Through Community, centring around championing the strength of LGBTQ+ people while ensuring we celebrate the importance of love and community.

As we reflect on our history, for centuries, we have curated our own communities and chosen families in an effort to seek belonging in a society that has oftentimes othered us. It has been in this search for love that the foundations of change were able to plant its roots.

This month gives us the chance to thank our sung and unsung heroes of change, liberation, and sacrifices that have gotten us to where we are today. This year, Arts Students' Union will be curating spaces and events around finding joy and healing that give us all strength to march forwards and continue to fight for liberation. Join us as we celebrate love, strength, and community this LGBTQ+ History Month.

The history behind the history

LGBTQ+ History Month is celebrated annually in the month of February in the United Kingdom. The first LGBTQ+ History Month took place in 1994 in Missouri, and started in the United Kingdom in 2005 following the repeal of Section 28 two years prior. Not to be confused with Pride Month which is held annually in June, LGBTQ+ History Month has a particular focus on visibility and awareness within the education system for LGBT+ people, something which was illegal under Section 28.

While it has been almost 20 years since the repeal of Section 28, the impact of this homophobic legislation is still felt today. As recent as 2003, children in schools would have been forbidden from learning or teaching LGBT+ issues, and this stigma did not disappear overnight. And the current political climate is seeing trans people's livelihoods threatened more than ever. This is why it is so important to celebrate and to encourage visibility and awareness of LGBTQ+ people and their experiences across all genders, sexualities, races, cultures, abilities and faiths.

This February we will offer you a series of talks, workshops, artist showcases, and opportunities to have your voices heard and your work seen and celebrated. We are committed to making sure that your experience at UAL as an LGBTQIA+ person is the best it can be, and to help our allies understand why we do this every year.

Queer Liberation Society

UAL's new Queer Liberation Society has collaborated with us on this month's events.

UAL Queer Liberation Society

image of Justin South.

"This month, this year, and every year, at UAL we have this message to our LGBTQIA+ students and teachers: you are seen, you are heard, you are valid, and you are loved! If there is one thing the LGBTQIA+ community is good at, it is being a community. In the past we have had to do this in secret, but now we do so in the open, hand in hand, lifting up and supporting the most vulnerable amongst us. While COVID restrictions mean we can’t meet in the same ways as previous years, this community still thrives and with your help we can make this LGBT+ History Month one to remember."

Justin South, LGBTQ+ Students Officer 2021/22 (He/Him)

image of Georgia Spencer.

"Art allows for self-expression. We can escape through art, be immersed in it. Our practices communicate our voices in unique ways. Our art can act as a safe space for us, it may protect us, challenge us, help us answer difficult questions in our lives. As LGBTQIA+ artists our art deserves to be seen, heard, digested and celebrated. What does this celebration of self and practice look like at UAL? This exhibition space for LGBTQIA+ History Month displays student artwork with their peers and recognises the unique importance of themselves and their practice."

Georgia Spencer, Arts SU Welfare Sabbatical Officer 2021/22 (She/Her)

LGBTQIA+ History Month 2023 Event Programme

Speaking Through Flowers: Cyanotype Workshop
15th February
The SU Gallery, Central Saint Martins
The workshop will be run by Daisy Bow du Toit, whose work with cyanotypes was recently featured by both Lucy & Yak and Levis.
LGBTQ+ History Month | Liberation
Identity & Independence: Zine Workshop with UAL AmaZINES
17th February
The Darkroom Bar, London College of Communication
LGBTQ+ History Month | Liberation
LGBTQ+ History Month: Strength and Love - Through Community. Orange and maroon text on a pastel pink background In Conversation: Queer Minorities Liberation
27th February
This panel looks at what it's like to be queer and a minority, and exploring identity through creativity.
LGBTQ+ History Month | Liberation
Snack & Chat: Queer Literature with the Queer Liberation Society
28th February
The Darkroom Bar, London College of Communication
LGBTQ+ History Month | Liberation

Love & Strength Through Community - LGBTQIA+ History Month 2023 Exhibition - Artist Info