LGBT+ History Month
February 01, 2021
It's the 17th annual LGBT History Month! The theme this year is 'Body, Mind and Spirit.' Auto Trader's LGBT+ Network has had some thought-provoking conversations sparked already from our own individual interpretations of the theme. Keep an eye out for weekly content where we'll delve into it on a deeper level. It's not always been parades and rainbows along the way, but rather a rollercoaster of setbacks mixed with progress. It's important to recognise the pivotal characters who paved the way for the LGBT+ community, spearheaded monumental change, cement our representation in the archives, and inspired future generations.
Personally, I'm thrilled we have a full month devoted to observing our past LGBT+ trailblazers because I'm both a history nerd and bisexual (she/her). To kick off this history month, I popped an animated clip at the bottom of this post to take you through a 5-minute timeline of LGBT+ history. Although it's American-centric, it's worth noting that it serves to remind us how far back our chronicles date and that the movement has always been a global one. Moreover, I was disheartened to see that UK-based videos had left off at the 2018 LGBT Action Plan. And since then, I'm afraid there have only been verbal promises by PM Johnson to continue with what May's government set out to do. Recent times have been fraught with more stoppages too. Last September, Johnson scrapped plans to make changes to the Gender Recognition Act which would've allowed people to self-identify their gender; meaning if someone wants to change their birth certificate, they'll still need to go through the arduous process of obtaining a medical diagnosis. I'd encourage you to put pressure on your local MP's to advance the other promises made in the LGBT Action Plan, like, banning conversion therapy. We'll have to wait until a report is issued in the summer to hear more on these matters, but history shows us we need to keep it in conversation.
But the lull of recent progress in England got me wondering; how do we create momentum for causes that have historically been so visible? Other than writing to a local MP, is there a way we can continue the drive needed to further campaigns which seem to be stagnant? Social takeovers like this are a useful starting point. If we can't physically wave the flag in the street, let's be heard from our digital Auto Trader megaphone. Join us this month as we celebrate how far we've come and refocus our sights on the next important push toward full equality and freedom to express our diversity.