For the end of LGBT+ history month, Space Youth Project Dorset have written a blog about what LGBT history month is and why we celebrate it as well as the support they offer for LGBT youth.
What is LGBT+ history month?
School’s OUT UK founded LGBT+ History Month in February 2005 after the abolition of Section 28 and it has been celebrated annually since. Section 28 of the Local Government Act, in force in the United Kingdom from 1988 – 2003, stated that local authorities “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality”. As well as “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship” … all we can say is, thank goodness for progress!
During LGBT+ History Month, we remember the trailblazers, celebrate our triumphs and reflect on the challenges we faced. We do all of this with the aim of creating safe spaces for LGBT+ people; both in the wider world and, most importantly, in the education systems, which were banned from talking about them for so long.
Being LGBTQ+ and mental health
As everyone is fully aware, in 2020 we faced a new challenge in the form of the coronavirus pandemic. Research from Just Like Us has shown that this has been the most damaging influence on the mental health of young LGBT+ people since Section 28.
Just Like Us states that “LGBT+ […] young people are twice as likely to feel lonely and more than twice as likely to worry for their mental health on a daily basis during the pandemic than their non-LGBT+ peers” and this is in part due to the fact that 1 in 5 young people say that they have had no positive messaging from their school about being LGBT+.
This is why it is so important to use LGBT+ History month as an opportunity to celebrate our community and raise awareness for the issues that members of the LGBT+ community face. By increasing LGBT+ visibility, and retelling stories from our history, we promote the welfare of LGBT+ people and enable them to fulfill their full potential. It is also vital that extra-curricular services to support LGBT+ young people are signposted.
Support for you
Space Youth Project Dorset is one of these services. It offers support for all members of the LGBT+ community across Dorset, under 25 years of age, regardless of race, religion or social background. This is delivered through multiple services including: weekly groups; informal 1 to 1 support; family support; and counselling. Space also provides educational resources and training for professionals, teachers, and families, and runs assemblies and lessons in schools across the county. In this way, we strive to provide local young people with the awareness and support they may need and aim to build a brighter future; where LGBT+ people are empowered alongside the wider community and have ample access to mental health support.
Thank you to Space Youth Project and Megan for writing this informative blog.
You can access the Space Youth Project Dorset website to access their support: https://www.spaceyouthproject.co.uk