February marks LGBT+ history month. This is a month-long celebration of LGBT+ history, art, culture, and LGBT+ rights. For those who may not identify into the LGBT+ community this is a great opportunity to learn.

We’ve been posting author and book suggestions over on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, but today we want to talk a little about names and words.

LGBT+ is an umbrella term to describe a vast array of identities related to both gender and sexuality. It is a term that includes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people, however – not exclusively. LGBT+ also includes people who identify as queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual and many more.

Being part of the LGBT+ community is about far more than who you love, chose to date, or which gender you do or do not identify with. Being LGBT+ is just that, it is a community of people with a shared history with its own culture, history, and heritage. That is why the name or community someone identifies with is so important – because it often makes them who they are.

The great part about the LGBT+ acronym is that it also includes Allies – those who identify as straight (heterosexual) and support the LGBT+ community. As an ally, here are three important things that you can do straight off the bat to best support the LGBT+ community:

  • Add your pronouns to your bio on social media or e-mail signatures. (A pronoun is a marker such as she/her, they/them). This can make people feel more comfortable and not isolated if they are sharing their pronouns too.
  • Prioritise reading books by LGBT+ authors and with LGBT+ characters at their centre. This is just one way you can educate yourself on the LGBT+ community and it’s history. Birmingham Libraries have curated some lists which may provide useful as a starting point e.g. Proud to Read, LGBT Heritage Resources.
  • Speak Up. If you witness homophobia or transphobia, always make sure to speak up and report this. If you witness homophobia or transphobia at a FOLIO event or in FOLIO online space, please let us know.

  • At FOLIO we want everyone to feel welcome at our events and would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to help us plan events or activities for those of us who identify as LGBT+ or as an LGBT+ ally.

    If you are looking for a mindfulness activity, or want some LGBT+ history month content for home-schooling, download our pride flag colouring in. The image above might be a helpful reference. If you are unsure of what each love-heart means, you can read LGBT+ definitions on Stonewalls glossary here: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/faqs-and-glossary/glossary-terms.

    LGBT+ History Month
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