LGBTQ History Month 1 February - 1 March


LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, and also encompasses other sexual identities (such as intersex or asexual). More information related to LGBTQ+ terms can be found in LGBTQ+ organisation Stonewall's glossary.

Although attittudes towards LGBTQ+ people have improved over time, a 2021 report from young people's charity 'Just Like Us' revealed that LGBT+ school pupils are twice as likely to have been bullied and 91% had heard negative language about being LGBT+ in the previous year,

Meanwhile, an ever-increasing number of young people are embracing queer identities, a previously derogatory term that was reclaimed by LGBTQ+ people - young LGBTQ+ people in particular - who do not identify with traditional labels of gender identity and sexual orientation. Continuing to build understanding and empathy around these subjects is crucial.

LGBTQ+ History can be a great way of discussing themes such as anti-bullying, embracing differences, acceptance and emapthy with students through issues such as same-sex parenting, coming out, gender reassignment, the AIDS crisis, sexuality in sports, conversion therapy, and first love. We've therefore collected together all of our LGBTQ+ content - including resources, news articles and blogs, film guides and a film list - which help to contextualise a range of LGBTQ+ titles, from archive-led documentaries to modern romance, each featuring stories from around the world and across the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

As with most of our theme pages, intersectionality is key, and we would strongly encourage teachers to explore how LGBTQ+ themes impact on and are influenced by other central issues. For instance, exploring the crossover between LGBTQ+ topics and those of race and cultural identity can lead your learners down fascinating paths, particularly in films such as Moonlight, 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute), Rafiki, Tangerine and Pride.

Finally, we are very proud to have launched a curated programme of educational films, resources and exclusive collaborations with LGBTQ+ organisations such as Stonewall, The Terrence Higgins Trust and Brook ahead of LGBTQ+ History Month in February 2022. The collection is available on our streaming service for schools, Into Film+, and aims to help educators feel confident in exploring lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace spectrum experiences, not just across February, but every day. Meanwhile, crucial contributions from experts and individuals in the LGBTQ+ community mean that the accompanying resources and videos for each film can speak with authority on how to inspire and educate young people across the UK as well instigate and normalise peer-to-peer discussions around this subject. 

This programme comes at a pivotal time for LGBTQ+ issues within education. Whilst the subject is now integral to the curriculum as part of Relationships Education for primary students and Sex and Relationships Education for secondary ones, ‘Just Like Us' research once again found that only a third of teachers felt ‘completely comfortable' teaching the subject and one in five felt ‘uncomfortable'. Meanwhile, their poll of secondary students found that nearly half of young people had received little or no positive messaging at school about being LGBT+ in the past 12 months.

With thanks to support and guidance from Stonewall, who have offered additional ideas for discussing any of the themes from the films within our programme. Stonewall also produce resources and guidance for young people.

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