For LGBT History Month the Diversity & Inclusion team is sharing some of their reflections. The following piece comes from Alex Prestage, a Diversity & Inclusion Consultant.
February is LGBT+ History Month; throughout the course of the month, the Diversity & Inclusion Team have been prompted to consider, and share, just what LGBT+ History Month means to us as diversity practitioners. My perspective as a practitioner is informed by my queer identity and my experiences as a member of the LGBT+ community. Over the last five years I’ve coordinated and led organisations’ celebrations of LGBT+ History Month – as a result, this is a welcome opportunity to pause and reflect.
For me, LGBT+ History Month is both an intensely personal and public affair underpinned by my celebration of the impacts that LGBT+ people have made. LGBT+ history is as complex and variable as the people and idenities that make up that umbrella. Very little of this history is formally codified and often the language(s) we use to define and describe queer experiences vary greatly. Jess Bradley, NUS Trans Officer, skillfully discusses the impact the latter has had on trans history here. It’s important to note that LGBT+ History is a history that is often obscured or erased; LGBT+ History Month utterly rejects this erasure and emphatically celebrates the contributions of LGBT+ people and communities. As a diversity practitioner, and an LGBT+ person, I find power in that.
Throughout the month of February, I’ll be seeking out and sharing LGBT+ (hi)stories; I’ll be celebrating and supporting the many queer spaces London has to offer; and, I’ll be generating my very own LGBT+ History.