When is LGBT History Month in the UK? Where did the idea come from?

LGBT History Month 2019 will hit the UK in February.

The awareness month has been celebrated in the US every year since 1994.

The idea for the event came from Rodney Wilson of St Louis in Missouri, a history teacher and graduate student who wanted to celebrate and commemorate gay history.

Since October 11 was already set in the LGBT calendar as National Coming Out Day, it was a natural fit to centre their event around the same month.

Along with the help of several advocacy groups and fellow historians, Wilson worked hard to establish their annual celebration of all things LGBT.

LGBT History Month celebration

LGBT History Month should not be confused with LGBT Pride Month which, although similar, takes place during June in the US and isn’t as focused on history and education. (Dimitar DILKOFF/AFP/Getty)

Since its beginning in the mid-1990s, the month-long celebration has grown into a worldwide movement. The UK held its first LGBT History Month in 2005, but – as ever – the Brits have elected to do things slightly differently from their friends across the Atlantic.

When is LGBT History Month celebrated in the UK?

Unlike the US, which focuses its gay history celebrations on the month of October, LGBT History Month in the UK is held in February. This means the next LGBT History Month in the UK wont arrive until February 2019.

According to Wikipedia, the reason for this difference is that the UK school calendar is slower in February than the rest of the year, thus making it a good choice for an additional focus on LGBT education.

This key difference also highlights the role played by School’s OUT – an advocacy group which seeks to fight LGBT prejudice in schools – in setting up the UK’s inaugural LGBT History Month, along with the well-known activists Sue Sanders and Elly Barnes.