COOKIE NOTICE: Irwell Valley uses cookies to store information on your computer, in order to improve your experience when using our website. One of the cookies we use is essential for parts of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site (using your browser), but parts of the site may not work. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, Read More.

celebrating LGBT+ History month

01 February 2021

celebrating LGBT+ History month

February is LGBT+ History month, a month-long celebration of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender  history and the gay rights and related civil rights movements. 

It was founded in 1994 by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson and today it is celebrated in the UK, Hungary, the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Greenland, and the city of Berlin.

It aims to provide role models, build community, and represent a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBT+ community by

  • Increasing the visibility of LGBT+ people, their history, lives and their experiences in the curriculum and culture of educational and other institutions, and the wider community;
  • Raising awareness and advancing learning on matters affecting the LGBT+ community;
  • Working to make educational and other institutions safe spaces for all LGBT+ communities; 
  • Promoting the welfare of LGBT+ people, so they contribute fully to society and lead fulfilled lives, thus benefiting society as a whole.

Why it’s needed

Rights affecting LGBT+ people still vary greatly by country or jurisdiction – encompassing everything from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, to the death penalty for homosexuality in some countries.  

In 2011, the United Nations (UN) Human Right Council passed its first resolution recognising LGBT rights and urged all countries which had not yet done so to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights. Yet despite advances in LGBT+ rights, a report by Stonewall found:

  • One in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months 
  • Two in five trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months 
  • Four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes and incidents go unreported, with younger LGBT people particularly reluctant to go to the police

Stonewall's research clearly highlights the shocking levels of hate crime and discrimination that LGBT people still face in Britain today. It also reveals that anti-LGBT+ abuse extends far beyond acts of hate and violence on our streets. Many LGBT+ people still endure poor treatment while using public services and going about their lives, whether in their local shop, gym, school or place of worship.  The findings show:

  • One in 10 LGBT people (10 per cent) who were looking for a house or flat to rent or buy in the last year were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
  • One in six LGBT people (17 per cent) who visited a café, restaurant, bar or nightclub in the last 12 months have been discriminated against based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
  • One in four black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT people (24 per cent) accessing social services in the last year have been discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
  • Almost three in 10 LGBT people (28 per cent) who visited a faith service or place of worship in the past 12 months experienced discrimination.
  • One in ten LGBT people (10 per cent) who attended a live sporting event in the last year experienced discrimination because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

LGBT+ and housing

The home is so important to LGBT+ residents, because it should be a place where people can freely express themselves without fear or prejudice.  Sadly, despite recent changes in equality laws, LGBT+ residents continue to experience discrimination in relation to their housing. 

We’re part of HouseProud North West – a network for housing providers to improve the way we engage, support and deliver services to our LGBT+ customers, colleagues and the communities we serve.

Research by HouseProud in 2017 found that 60% of trans respondents did not feel that their neighbourhood was a safe place to live and one in five gay men reported modifying their home in some way, such as moving pictures, to hide their sexual orientation from repairs operatives or housing officers.  A third of respondents also felt that their housing provider was not able to deal effectively with issues like harassment.

We are committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination and promote equality for all our customers and colleagues. As part of this we have recently signed up to the HouseProud Pledge Project.

The Pledge has been developed by HouseProud and the University of Surrey in association with residents, staff members and sector leaders to address the issues raised by the findings of ‘No Place Like Home?’, the largest study ever undertaken to understand LGBTQ+ experiences of social housing. ​Residents who took part in the research said they want their landlord to move beyond token gestures. The new Pledge provides a framework for landlords to work with involved residents to take action and demonstrate their commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and support. 

There are two levels of accreditation – Pledge Pioneer and Pledge Plus.  We must demonstrate that we deliver three core commitments to foster engagement with LGBTQ+ residents (Pledge Pioneer).  Following the delivery of these, we will work with involved residents to co-design projects and achieve the higher level of accreditation (Pledge Plus). 


Join in and celebrate LGBT+ history month!

Here are some events to attend, plus things to read and watch to learn more.


HouseProud Celebrates LGBT+ History Month – Thursday 4th February 5.30pm to 7pm - To register click here  

HouseProud are excited to welcome Professor Emeritus Sue Sanders, Chair of Schools OUT UK and founder of LGBT+ History Month UK to open our virtual celebrations. She will share how and why LGBT+ History Month UK was founded, and why it is still vitally important today.   

Following the presentation, there will be the HouseProud LGBT+ History Month Quiz, a chance to test your knowledge, network and learn more about LGBT+ History.  Andrew Francalanza, Pride 365 Champion and Diversity & Inclusion Lead has designed a quiz specially for HouseProud and will be the guest host for the evening.   


Building the House of Stonewall – Tuesday 16th February 9am to 12noon - To register click here   

HouseProud is partnering with Stonewall Housing, and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and others from across the sector to highlight the experiences of LGBTQ+ housing professionals and residents.   ‘Building the House of Stonewall’ will inspire action on key LGBTQ+ issues across our sector. 

At the event you’ll see what issues face LGBT+ colleagues and customers in social housing, showcasing the work of organisations currently working in this space. There will be testimony of LGBT+ people impacted and made homeless because of discrimination over the last 50 years, and of course your chance to participate and share your experiences and ideas. Our board member Luchia Fitzgerald, will be sharing her story as part of this.


A history of LGBTQ+ housing in England – 24th February 11am – 12noon - To register click here

The housing association sector has long played a role in creating safe spaces and building communities. In recognition of LGBTQ+ History Month. This webinar looks at British LGBTQ+ history and to consider the role our sector still plays today in creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people to thrive. Speakers are:

  • John Glenton, Executive Director for Care and Support, Riverside
  • Anna Kear, Chief Executive, Tonic Housing
  • Guy Stenson, Director of Housing Operations, Stonewater


Something to read

No Place like Home? This report explores the concerns, preferences and experiences of LGBT*Q social housing residents. The findings come from the 2017 HouseProud HomeSAFE study. Read it here

Something to watch 

Rolling Stone has pulled together the top 40 Great LGBTQ TV Shows to Stream Now. Check them out here.