lgbt history poster

‘Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility. It has shown me limitless possibilities of living’ Armistead Maupin.

LGBT History Month is for everyone – individuals, community groups, organisations, service providers, LGBT and non-LGBT people alike. It takes place across Scotland every February, and its aim is to celebrate LGBT lives and culture and to recognise the achievements of LGBT people throughout history.

LGBT History Month poster


This year LGBT History Month is focusing especially on homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in education; the notorious Section 28 (which prohibited the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in UK schools) was repealed in Scotland in 2000 (it took four more years for England and Wales to follow suit), but LGBT Youth Scotland’s research shows that almost 70% of LGBT young people have still experienced homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying at school.

LGBT History Month is an opportunity for schools to celebrate LGBT lives and culture and send a message of equality; the organisers have come up with lots of ideas for this, from displaying their Story of Section 28 poster to arranging a screening of Shh! Silence Helps Homophobia, an award-winning short film by LGBT Youth Scotland. 27th February has been designated Purple Friday, when everyone is asked to wear purple and tweet their #purpleselfie; schools (and everyone else) are encouraged to raise funds to support LGBT Youth’s work – suggestions include holding a purple cupcake bake sale, getting sponsored to dye your hair purple or even running a purple knit-a-thon.

Throughout the month there will be lots of events in Edinburgh – from screenings of Pride, Dunno Y and other LGBT films to a discussion of role models in LGBT people’s lives. Rev Elder Cecilia Eggleston leads a workshop on ‘What the Bible really says about sexuality and gender’, after which you can help celebrate the history of the LGBTI denomination, The Metropolitan Community Church. If it’s literature you’re after, Zoe Strachan presents an evening of LGBT writers’ poetry and prose at Waterstones, or if you’d rather get your LGBT history ‘live’, you can share your stories and photos at Living our LGBT Memories. McDonald Road library even offers you the chance to come and interview an LGBT ‘human book’!

LGBT Young People's Open Mic
LGBT Young People’s Open Mic


Beauty Is The Beast is a workshop that will explore ‘who we are and how we look as we notice the temporary roles of beauty, ugliness, gender, ethnicity, age, weight….defined by shifting standards’, and for friends, family and partners of Trans people Breaking Out of the Trans Narrative: Me & T will be a discussion examining media representations of trans people. Edinburgh University Students Association has also arranged a wide range of events, from lectures to discussions, films, theatre – and The Big EUSA Gaylidh. You can find details of EUSA’s programme here.

EUSA poster for LGBT History Month

Talking Heids, hosted by Colin McGuire, will inspire you with poetry and song at Sofi’s Bar, LGBT Youth Scotland hosts LGBT Talent Performs, an open mic night for young people, their friends and allies – and if you just want to party, look no further than Old St Paul’s, where Philippa Snatch will be in charge of a very different Pride Scotia Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, or Summerhall, where Dive will present Broken, a Valentine’s ball complete with caged bar, visual art, peformance, blood artistry and burlesque (‘It’ll break your heart to miss it’…)

mad hatter's tea party poster LGBT History month

And it’s not all about the big stuff; the organisers of LGBT History Month want people to celebrate the small, personal ways that people can mark the occasion, such as reading a book with an LGBT theme or by an LGBT author, signing off your emails with a note about LGBT History Month, putting up posters where you work, or ‘something else more spectacular and creative!’ You can tweet your ideas: #lgbtsmallsteps.

LGBT Small Steps poster-page-001

For details of all these events and more, plus advice on setting up your own event, resources and more ideas about getting involved, see or the Facebook page.