February is LGBT+ history month, this year’s theme is ‘PHSE 2: Body, Mind, Spirit’. Starting in 2005 by School’s Out, LGBT+ history month remembers the history of the LGBT+ community and to raise awareness for LGBT+ issues and concerns but why do we still need it?
The primary goal is to educate. Until very recently, teaching about the LGBT+ community has been lacking, particularly in schools. Leaving young people at a massive disadvantage. While this has seen improvement in the last couple of years, there is still a lot of catching up to do.
The awareness month provides an opportunity for people who are part of the community to learn more about themselves. Prior to the law which came into effect in September 2020, schools were not required to teach their students about the LGBT community or the issues facing it.
In fact, a study by Stonewall in 2017 stated two in five LGBT students are never taught anything about LGBT issues at school. And perhaps the most concerning, just one in five LGBT students have learnt about safe sex in same-sex relationships.
The teaching of LGBT+ themes is so important, to both members of the community and to those who are outside it. Providing education to those who aren’t a member of the community, can help the way they interact with the members.
Lastly, it’s important for learning about how people fought for LGBT+ rights in our own country as well as worldwide. Remembering the struggle and sacrifice people made to bring change. If you want to read more about LGBT+ history and about the history month, visit the founders’ website here. And here at Mental Magazine, we will be sharing stories throughout the month about the LGBT+ community.