LGBT+ History Month 2022
04 February 2022
The theme for this year’s LGBT+ History Month is ‘Politics in Art’
LGBT+ History Month is celebrated every February in the UK. It is an exciting and important time to learn more about the history of the LGBTQ+ community – both the struggles and the celebrations. It encourages us to examine the past and see how far we have come as a society, as well as to look to the future and the work still left to do.
The theme for this year’s LGBT+ History Month is ‘Politics in Art’, and five artists have been selected by the official organisers of the event “who had used their talents for ‘political’ ends, or expressed their orientation through their work”. These five artists are Keith Haring, whose work drew attention to the AIDs crisis in the 1980s; Doris Brabham Hatt and Fiore de Henriquez who both fought against fascism in the 1930s; Mark Aguhar, whose life “and mere existence was an act of confronting white hegemony”; and Jean-Michel Basquiat who started his career as a graffiti artist, using his work to comment on racism and society.
The path to equality has not been easy or even (nor have we reached the end of it yet), which is why the tagline for this year’s theme is “The Arc is Long”. This is in reference to a quote from Martin Luther King Jr: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”. 2022 sees the 50th anniversary of London’s first Pride March, which occurred on 1st July 1972. This is an important milestone at which to reflect on the progress that has been made. In the UK, homosexuality was a crime until 1967 (which, for many of us, is still very much in living memory). A great deal has changed and improved since then, but we still have a long way to go to eradicate discrimination, hate, and ignorance. One of the best ways to do that is through education, whether it’s teaching the next generation in a classroom, or picking up a book ourselves.
The ARU library has a number of excellent resources where you can learn more about LGBTQ+ history. Our curated LGBTQ+ collections have some great books and DVDs picked out from the library catalogue, and our LibGuide has a huge range of useful history and information, including Support and Advice resources both within ARU and external to the university. The library also provides ARU students and staff with access to Box of Broadcasts (BoB), which has a fantastic range of LGBTQ+ film and television. We have a playlist on BoB based on the BFI’s “greatest LGBTQ+ films of all time” list, and a quick search will reveal countless more broadcasts that are available for your education and enjoyment. This month is the perfect opportunity to take some time to sit back with a book or a broadcast, and learn something new about the LGBTQ+ community.
(Extracts and logo taken from https://lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk)