What is LGBTQ+ History Month?
LGBTQ+ History Month is an annual celebration of LGBTQ+ people in all their diversity, aiming to raise awareness and educate out prejudice. Every February, the event provides role models, builds community and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community.
LGBTQ+ History Month started in the US in 1994. 11 years later it began in the UK, following an initiative created by teachers. In 2005, Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick set up LGBT History Month as part of a Schools Out UK project. The programme aims to educate young people about the issues members of the LGBTQ+ community face and to make educational settings feel inclusive for everyone.
This year’s theme is “Behind the Lens”, which encourages us all to appreciate and celebrate the lives and accomplishments of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people who work outside the limelight in photography, film making, TV and fashion.
Why is LGBTQ+ History Month important to OAS?
LGBTQ+ History Month is celebrated every February by schools, colleges and other organisations across the country. At OAS, we’re committed to welcoming and celebrating all forms of talent and we want to increase young people’s awareness of the LGBTQ+ community through education.
Research by the Royal Academy of Engineers in 2019 shows that LGBT engineers are less likely to say ‘I can be open about my sexual orientation’. At OAS, we want to combat this and create a training centre where apprentices can bring their whole selves to work every day.
What are we doing at OAS?
Throughout February, we’ll be talking about what the month means to OAS as well as hosting in-centre activities to raise awareness and encourage open discussion throughout our learning community, including a talk from our LGBTQ+ partners about the role of ED&I role, unconscious bias, and LGBTQ groups, sexuality and gender. Keep an eye on our social media channels to see what we have planned!