LGBT History Month at UoM Students’ Union

For those who don’t know, February is LGBT History Month. During this month we take time to recognise and celebrate the diverse and impressive history of the LGBT+ community.

We’ve come a long way since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England in 1967 and the Stonewall Riots in 1969, but LGBT+ people are still far from equal to cisgender straight people. As well as allowing us to see the progress we've made, History Month highlights the areas where we still need to be better.

Her Campus at Manchester supports all our LGBT+ readers and, in celebration of LGBT History Month, are dedicating a week of content to exploring issues and themes in the LGBT+ experience. Firstly, the LGBTQ Society and the LGBTQ+ and Trans Campaigns at UoM have put together a whole month of incredible events to help us remember where we came from and move forward together as a more united community.

Past

The first week kicked off with Conversation Corners, an informal discussion space for people of certain demographics to talk about their experiences and make new friends. We’ve already had the LGBTQ+, Lesbian, Bi and Trans Women, and Bisexual and Pansexual Conversation Corners, with plenty more to come across the month.

On February 1st, the Trans Campaign ran a clothes swap for trans students, allowing trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people to refresh their wardrobes without breaking the bank. It can be extremely difficult for trans people to access gender affirming clothes due to money, family and social restrictions and biases. The event let people freely trade clothes to help each other feel more comfortable. Reclaim The Night also kindly dontated a few of their t-shirts.

The QTIPOC (Queer, Trans and Intersex People of Colour) Panel Event was a very educational evening. We heard from some fantastic voices talking about the history of QTIPOC as well as their personal experiences. This ranged from the Stonewall riots to navigating black transmasculinity.

Can You Queer Me In The Back? was a wonderful event showcasing talent from within the LGBTQ+ community. From singers to poets to contemporary theatre performances, Queer Me was an event that we hope will become a staple of History Month for years to come!

Upcoming

As well as more Conversation Corners, there are a variety of talks and workshops such as Accessibility in LGBTQ+ Spaces, Who Are The Older Lesbians? and Pride is Political. On February 19th, there will be a screening of 120 BPM, a 2018 film about the AIDS crisis in 1990s France and AIDS activism group ACT UP. This will be followed by a discussion.

For fans of fashion, the Queer Looks exhibition is being held from February 20th to 22nd. Inspired by the exhibition of the same name at Brighton Museum, Queer Looks aims to showcase the varied ways in which Manchester LGBTQ+ people outwardly display their queerness to the world. This could range from a simple badge to extravagant outfits. If you’re interested in donating to the exhibition, please bring your donation in a labelled bag to the Student Voice office on the 1st floor of the SU. Accompanying writings can be emailed to [email protected].

Finally, to close out LGBT History Month, the SU is holding its 4th OUT LGBTQ+ club night in Club Academy! Be sure to come along for banging queer tunes, drinks deals and a generally fab time. There will be a quiet room available and gender neutral toilets. Tickets are available on the SU website and in person at various LGBT History Month events. Come OUT with us!

This History Month is sure to be phenomenal so make sure you get involved. Information is available on the Student Union website. Also, keep an eye on University of Manchester LGBTQ Society, UoM LGBTQ+ Campaign and UoM Trans Campaign on Facebook for links to specific event pages.