Celebrating Diversity

LGBTQ+ History Month 2019

This year marks the 14th anniversary of LGBT History Month in Britain.

February welcomes LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) History Month, celebrating the lives, achievements and promoting awareness of the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout LGBT History Month, we remember and celebrate important figures of history alongside those who continue to contribute to and celebrate equality in our society today. 

From educational talks, to classes in the art of drag, the month is filled with events celebrating equality, regardless of gender or sexual identity. Originating in the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) celebrates LGBT History Month in February, whereas celebrations across the pond take place in October. 

LGBT History Month began as “Lesbian and Gay History Month”, created by Rodney Wilson, a high-school History teacher who wanted to challenge discrimination and celebrate LGBT history. It was against the backdrop of equality movements and marches across the 70s and 80s that LGBT History Month as it is known today was created in the US in 1995 and 2005 in the UK.

Over the years, the abbreviation LGBT has continued to evolve and grow to include all identities. Now, the full abbreviation, LGBTQQIAAP, stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Allies, Asexual and Pansexual, though is commonly shortened to LGBTQ+. 

February events in Portsmouth:

Pride Week

Celebrate Pride Week from Monday 4th February. Watch out around campus for ally stickers and rainbow laces. An idea championed through our Have Your Say Platform and supported by your Students’ Union and our official events partners, Eskimo11. Jack Dranfield gave out rainbow laces and ally stickers to student-groups to show support of sexual and gender identity acceptance for all. The idea stemmed from the desire to encourage more LGBTQ+ people into sport and show that “we care about not caring”. 

Jack Dranfield, a student who championed the rainbow laces campaign said

"It is really important to me that everyone who wants to, feels they can take part in sport at the University of Portsmouth. One way of doing this is for our societies to be open and accepting of every student who wants to join. Showing their support of the LGBT community in such a public way means people who may not know what rainbow laces are, see them and start a conversation. Hopefully, it will also show people that homophobia, transphobia and biphobia will not be accepted in sport at Portsmouth. Wearing your laces to fixtures, nights out and casually means you're being an active Ally for the LGBT students of Portsmouth"

Pride Wednesday

Pride week will also transform the longest running student night, Purple Wednesday into Pride Wednesday! Supported by Eskimo11, the Fleet and Popworld will be transformed into a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and inclusivity of all students, regardless of their gender or sexual identity.

Alaister Ritchie, owner of Eskimo11 said: 

Inclusivity has always been integral to our events, from race, religion to sexual orientation. It’s great to be part of this campaign as the official partners of the Students' Union.

Head down to Pride Wednesday on the 6th February, wearing as many colours of the rainbow as you can manage to celebrate the diversity of Portsmouth students and have a fun-filled night with the passionate Fleet and Popworld Team!

LGBT Month Film Festival

A series of films will be shown in Eldon Building throughout February, hosted by the Portsmouth Film Society. Indoor screenings are free to all Portsmouth students. 

Wednesday 6th February: Postcards from London (2018) - 7pm
Wednesday 13th February: Anchor and Hope (2017) - 7pm
Tuesday 19th February: A Moment in the Reed (2018) - 7pm
Wednesday 20th February: The Happy Prince (2017) - 7pm
Wednesday 27th February: The Bookshop (2018) - 7pm
Thursday 28th February: A Deal with the Universe (2018) - 7pm

First Floor Eldon Art Display

Ashleigh Beames, second year illustration student at UoP has selected 8 icons of the LGBT+ movement to create a series of posters spanning 8 decades to celebrate their achievements and to inform the public of the successes within the community – in particular, individuals that are less known. Ashleigh said:  

“Through my art I want to inspire and uplift the community by highlighting past achievements in the LGBT+ timeline.”

LGBT History Month Open Lecture “Queer Women Poets in the Age of Modernism”.

A free talk on ‘Queer Women Poets in the Age of Modernism: Photography, Self-Fashioning and Celebrity’ by Dr Sarah Parker from Loughborough University will be held on 20 February 2019, 1.00pm to 2.30pm in Milldam LE 1.03. Organised by the Celebrity, Citizenship and Status (CCS) project group, this is a free event for staff and students and a light lunch will be provided. Please email ccs@port.ac.uk to register your interest.

Eldon building lights up rainbow style

Once again, to mark support for LGBT History Month, the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, will be lighting up the front of Eldon Building in a rainbow style.

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