LGBT History Month 2019: 10 key milestones in British LGBT history!

By Amber Tennant

February sees the start of LGBT history month 2019, and this year’s theme is “Peace, Activism and Reconciliation”!

As it is crucial to recognise and remember the struggles of others to give us the lives we have today, the theme explores LGBT+ activism and events in the year marking 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, a key moment in LGBT+ rights and history. Read on to find out more about key milestones in British LGBT+ history:

  • 1951 – Roberta Cowell becomes the first known British trans woman to undergo reassignment surgery. Read more about Roberta Cowell
  • 1958 – The Homosexual Law Reform Society is founded to campaign for the legalisation of same-sex relationships in the UK.
  • 1972 – The first Pride march takes place in London, attracting around 2000 participants. Today, Pride in London attracts up to a million people, with other events taking place throughout the country.
  • 1988 – Prompted by the introduction of Section 28, Sir Ian McKellen and others launch Stonewall (now the largest LGBT rights organisation in the UK) in order to lobby against Section 28 and other barriers to equality. The government later repealed Section 28 in 2003, and passed legislation giving LGBT+ people employment rights.
  • 1994 – The UK Crown Dependency of Isle of Man fully decriminalises homosexuality.
  • 2000 – The UK Government lifts the ban on lesbians, gay men and bisexual people serving in the armed forces.
  • 2002 – Same-sex couples are granted equal rights when applying for adoption.
  • 2004 – The Civil Partnership Act is passed and grants civil partnership in the UK.
  • 2005 – The first LGBT History Month is launched at the Tate Modern in London.
  • 2014 – The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 comes into force.

LGBT History Month 2019: Sources of further information and help

The UK has come a long way in the fight for LGBT rights, however there is still a long way to go. Below are sources of further information on LGBT rights in the UK and across the globe, including details about how you can get involved.

  • Human Rights Watch– News, analysis and resources from a human rights perspective, including LGBT rights.
  • Stonewall– Group campaigning for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the UK.
  • LGBT Foundation– Offers information for LGBT people on sexual health, well-being, groups and events.

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