Happy LGBT+ History Month!

What is LGBT History Month and who started it?

LGBT History Month is a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer history, as well as a means of raising awareness for the issues faced by LGBTQ+ people.

This year’s theme is Peace, Activism and Reconciliation.

The month was originally started in the US in 1994 to coincide with National Coming Out Day in October. It was taken up in the UK in 2005 by teachers Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick as part of the Schools OUT UK project, which educates young people on issues faced by queer communities.

Its primary focus is teaching young people about the gay rights movement and working to put a stop to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

I came out 13 years ago to my family and friends. Well, I only came out to my twin sister, who at first didn’t believe me. I’d been asked to go on a date with a boy I met on the bus and really needed to tell Angelina as believe it or not – this was the first time I’d ever been asked out on a date! I’d said yes to the boy, but there was a problem – I didn’t like him! I told Angelina and her boyfriend at the time that “I think I like girls”, to which she casually laughed at me and said, “don’t be silly, no you don’t”.

I went into the bathroom and cried until she came to see me. She could see how upset I was and apologised immediately. Apparently, boys she’d been out with had always told her that I was gay, but she didn’t believe them as she was as much as a tom-boy as I was.

Fast forward a few months and all my family knew. I was so worried as I have a huge Irish Catholic family – my Mum’s Aunty is even a nun! Luckily, I was accepted by everyone. No questions asked, no judgements made.

My Dad’s initial reaction was to tell me that I shouldn’t rush into anything as there are boys and girls in the world, and I was still young. He apologised a few years ago and said that this is one of his biggest regrets – that he shouldn’t have said it as I was old enough to know who I liked and make my own mind up. My Dad has been amazing, he’s supported me through my entire life, the ups and downs including the breakdown of my marriage 4 years ago. I wouldn’t know what I’d do without him.

I have known since I was sat in primary school admiring my teachers, sat watching Officer Jane Castle in Space Precinct, Andie MacDowell in Ground Hog Day and the many other strong females, that there was something different about me. I adored women.

Sexuality and gender have been discussed more in the last few years than ever before. It has opened my eyes and I have finally found peace within my confused mind. I have had to “come out” again to myself and now to the world. If I had to label myself, I would consider myself genderqueer and pansexual.

I count my blessings every day that I can live with the support of my family and friends, in a country where my sexuality and gender is legal. There are still so many countries that are fighting for peace, for acceptance, for love. I hope to live in a world where people don’t need to “come out” and where labels don’t exist.

I am Human.

Love is Love.

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