Wednesday 09-01-2019 - 16:16
NUS LGBT+ Officers Eden Ladley and Rob Noon share their plans for LGBT+ History Month this February.
LGBT+ History Month was created in 1994 by a history teacher in the United States and introduced to the UK in 2005 by the Schools OUT project. Its aim is to equip the public (and especially LGBT+ people) with knowledge and ideas about LGBT+ history and liberation. For too long our history (both global and local) has been hidden, assumed to be too “inappropriate” for schools and too niche for wider public consumption. This year, the NUS LGBT+ Campaign wants to front a radical and inclusive vision of the history of LGBT+ activism by focusing on women’s liberation and UK Pride organising. We’ve previously published a guide on running LGBT+ History Month events, which you can find here.
This February Eden is working on a variety of projects relating to the inclusion and liberation of women in LGBT+ spaces. In line with the previous work the NUS LGBT+ Campaign has done on sex worker solidarity, xe’ll kicking off some work with Sarah Lasoye (the NUS UK Women’s Officer) on sex worker’s rights and why it is an issue that students should be campaigning on. More broadly, we want to bring a variety of creative events to your campuses, including talks, workshops and more. In particular, we want to centre the experiences of women neglected even within lesbian and bi women’s history, such as LGBT+ women of colour, sex workers and trans women. This is why we’re working with the NUS Scotland Women’s Campaign on doing workshops on Fighting Transmisogyny, especially relevant in the hostile atmosphere for trans people in the UK. Furthermore, Eden has events being planned in Aberstywth, Aberdeen, Manchester, Exeter and beyond on why now more than ever we been to centre women’s experiences in LGBT+ History Month. You can find a guide to including women in LGBT+ History month produced in previous years on NUS Connect.
February is an especially busy month for Rob, as one of their main priorities for the year is Pride. They’ll be running a UK-wide panel and workshop tour under the banner “Pride is a Protest”, exploring ideas around the history of UK Pride organising and why we must challenge the assimilation and corporatisation of our community’s flagship events, as well as how we build free and accessible community alternatives. For many of the stops they’ll be joined by activists from the NUS Black and NUS Trans campaigns, who’ll be providing expertise into the different angles and approaches we can adopt when advocating for political Pride events. The current confirmed stops are Liverpool (7th), Belfast (13th), Goldsmith’s (15th), Durham (16th), Edinburgh (18th), Glasgow (19th), KCL (21st) and finally Manchester (27th). Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages for details of each event as they are announced. Although Rob’s schedule is already packed for February if you’d like them to deliver a session on this topic on your campus later in the year pop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a sabbatical officer, LGBT+ society leader or student activist running events on your campus for History Month we want to hear about them! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you want us to publicise your events on our social media - we love seeing the work you’re doing.
Finally, we know that history month can be an incredibly draining time for those organising events, and especially volunteers. There’s often a lot to juggle but please remember that it’s OK to share workloads with other committee members and activists as your welfare needs to come first. Also, you can always talk to and ask for help from your union’s sabbatical officers! If you’re running a lot of events or campaigns through February make sure you book some time out in March to recuperate.
Eden and Rob