LGBTQ+ Society, SU Pride Society and LGBTQ+ Staff Network Statement
Considering the Mind, Body and Spirit theme of LGBT+ History Month this year, we want to begin by encouraging fellow LGBTQ+ people to find time to be kind to themselves; mind, body and spirit. The network and societies have shared the challenges the pandemic has created for LGBTQ+ students and colleagues, be it feeling cut off from our community, questioning or living an inauthentic self or not being supported by those who we may be in lockdown with. In a time where we feel angry and upset by the homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the world, we need to seek strength from the radical compassion in the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate our joys, wins and stories. Although we may not be able to come out in body this History Month, we have put together a list of events and support networks to connect our minds while we strive for inclusion for all, which unites us in spirit.
We want to call on our allies to join us in challenging preconceptions about the shape, depth and breadth of LGBTQ+ history, learn about our struggles and challenges and advocate for positive change. This month is a time to take stock of our rich history as a community – the emotion, comradery and pride, and to seek resilience to overcome the barriers that remain. History Month allows us to think about what we have never been taught, and about history that is not only hidden but also actively erased. LGBTQ+ people have always existed, and History Month is another chance to reflect on discrimination, ignorance and hatred that needs to be tackled. We cannot and should not ignore injustice and that our compassion and solidarity for one another are among our greatest strengths; even when that bond is threatened by attempts to divide us, our history shows that we are stronger together.
We believe that we should use history month to reflect on our varied but connected experiences and fight for our trans siblings through rising transphobia in this country, for our lesbian siblings who are harmed in the intersection of homophobia and misogyny, for our bi siblings in the face of erasure and high rates of domestic abuse and for our gay siblings whose struggles we so often dismiss in favour of seeing them as ‘the most privileged among us’. We must fight for those of us whose place in the community is defined by one letter or by several, and for those of us who are Q, I, A, or no letter at all. We must look out, celebrate and uplift one another, and recognise and honour our differences and our similarities. Looking on our history will strengthen our resolve, commitment and fight for one another and inspire us to keep working towards a more inclusive environment globally, for not only all LGBTQ+ people but all people.