Bringing LGBT History Month to a close

LGBT History Month

Throughout February, we’ve been publishing Need to Know articles written by members of our LGBT Network. This coverage has been organised as part of LGBT History Month, which celebrates diversity and encourages people to reflect on the progress which has been made towards equality and the work which still needs to be done.

This week, Jim Graves, chair of #WeAreEEAST’s LGBT Network, draws the month to a close with his thought for the future.

“Over the last few weeks, we have explored the history of Pride as well as looking at the huge improvements we have seen in this country for the LGBT community. However, I’d like to wrap up the month by exploring and explaining why we still need to champion equality, and why we still need Pride.

“In the UK, homosexuality is legal, we have marriage equality, anti-discrimination legislation and have repealed the hugely-damaging section 28. The list of advances could go on and on. But…

“…there are still 73 countries where homosexuality is illegal, almost half of which are in the Commonwealth. In 12 countries, homosexuality is not only illegal but is punishable by death, while there are only 31 countries where same sex marriage is recognised. In the UK, we still have protests at schools which want to say that same sex relationships are normal, while there are very few weeks that pass by without another story in the media about a homophobic attack. As well as resulting in physical injury, such attacks can have an enormous effect on the mental health and anxiety of the community as a whole.

“Now is the time for us to use the momentum we have gained by campaigning for the improvements we have seen in the UK to become more widespread. We must also continue to combat attacks made by a small group of individuals until we get to a time when everyone is able to feel comfortable and safe to be themselves.”

 

Published 26th February 2020

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