LGBT Month

February is LGBT history month in the UK, in which we remember and celebrate the accomplishments of Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and other identities in history. We acknowledge how far the fight for equality has come and how far it still has to go, all the while recognizing LGBT+ people from all over the world who are facing discrimination and not being accepted by their country, families and friends.

There has been a lot of positive changes to your union in recent months to try and be as inclusive and representative of all of our students as possible. One of these changes being the representational associations for students who self-identify as LGBT+; which you passed at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM). There is also a newly formed Pride in Beds society for all students, you can join to make friends and get involved in all the events they’re planning for the month.

 

LGBT+ Ally 

The LGBT+ Ally campaign is for non LGBT+ students who are interested in learning about how to be supportive and accepting of LGBT+ people and want to take active steps in doing so; as well as for students who are LGBT+ and want to get involved in supporting one another. Make a pledge, share and get involved today -  Click here to sign the pledge

 

Key Figures in LGBT History

Audre Lorde 

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

Background 

African American writer, feminist and civil rights activist who dedicated her life to confronting and addressing racism, sexism and homophobia. Her poems particularly dealt with issues relating to civil rights, feminism and the exploration of black female identity. 

Achievements 

In 1981 she won the Gay Caucus Book of the Year Award for The Cancer Journals after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her theories and prose influenced much contemporary feminist thought and after her death in 1992 the Audre Lorde Project was founded to campaign for queer people of colour especially relating to trans communities in New York. 

 

 

Frida Kahlo 

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” 

Background 

Born in 1907 she was a Mexican painter best known for her self-portraits. During her childhood she contracted polio which resulted in life long mobility complications. She joined the Mexican Communist Party and was introduced to many activists and artists. One of these was to be the man she would go on to marry, Diego Rivera. Though they often separated and their relationship became the focus of much media attention. After her death in 1954 her former residence became the Frida Kahlo Museum where most of her work still resides. 

Achievements

She is considered one of the world’s greatest painters and feminist icon. Her work inspires artists and the truthfulness in her portraits exposed pain and suffering but also her resilience.

 

 

 

Nicola Adams 

“Once it was out there, I felt I could truly be myself. It was incredibly liberating.” 

Background 

Born in Leeds. She fought her first fight age 13 but it would be four years before she found a second opponent. In 2007 she began to dominate amatuer divisions and then subsequently the European and World Championships. She turned professional on 23 January 2017. Though openly bisexual now, it wasn’t until 2014 that she began speaking about her sexuality. Worrying about people’s reactions she would say she was single rather than say she was with a woman.

Achievements

Nicola Adams is the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title. She was also the first openly LGBT+ person to win an Olympic boxing Gold medal in 2012. The same year she went on to win the Boxing Writer’s Club of Great Britain, becoming the first woman to do so. In 2013 Adams was appointed MBE in the New Years Honours for services to boxing and OBE in 2017. She was named the most influential LGBT+ person in Britain in 2012.

The Wachowskis 

“I find the courage to admit that I am transgendered and this doesn’t mean that I am unlovable”

 

Background 

Lana and Lilly Wachowski born 1965 and 1967 respectively are film directors, producers and screenwriters. They are also both openly trans women. Reaching fame with the infamous Matrix series. They made their debut with Bound in 1996 and have gone on to produce the Netflix series Sense8 among many other successful films. They also wrote the screen play for the film Assassins.

Achievements 

Lana Wachowski was awarded the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award in 2012. Bound released in 1996 was co-written, directed and produced by the Wachowskis and it went on to win many awards, the most prestigious being the Grand Jury Award – Honorable Mention at L.A.