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The latest news from LGBT+ History Month
Every February since 2005

To find out what's happening NOW in the LGBT+ community, and for notable anniversaries in Queer history,
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In this edition...

Schools OUT UK

(Charitable Incorporated Organisation 1156352) is a committee of 12 unpaid volunteers working to make all LGBT+ people safe and visible in the education environment


  • HM 2022 Badge Design Competition
  • Pride In Education 2 - Back To School
  • OTP 2021
  • SRE Guidance 
  • LGBTHM 2021 Launch Preview
  • Social Media Update

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Who Are We?

Schools OUT UK is the founding charity of LGBT+ History Month, an initiative which is:

Claiming our past.
Celebrating our present.
Creating our future.

Please continue to give us your support.
Don't forget you can buy this year's badge (below) for only £3 from our online shop.

Competition - Design the

LGBT+ History Month Badge

for 2022!

Every year since its launch in 2004, LGBT+ History Month raises vital funds for its work to make schools safe and inclusive for everyone through the sale of its iconic annual badge. Each year the design is distinctive, linking to the year’s National Curriculum theme. Until now the design has been created by university design students. For 2022 we want to open up the opportunity and give more young people the chance to be the winning designer of the 2022 badge.

Professor Sue Sanders, Chair of Schools Out and co- founder of LGBT+ History Month says:

“Our young LGBT+ people experience disproportionately poor mental health, homelessness and well-being due to factors such as anti-LGBT+ bullying, lack of visibility within educational settings and lack of support at home. In a year where Covid-19 has caused further disruption and negative impacts for LGBT+ young people, Schools Out UK is proud to provide this unique opportunity as part of our work to ensure young LGBT+ peoples’ needs are championed, visible and heard”.

We are pleased to be able to open up the design process to schools and youth groups as well as university students across the country and provide this landmark opportunity. This is a perfect opening to discussions about LGBT+ people in all their diversity, especially now that same-sex relationships have been added to the National Curriculum.

The competition is in two stages:
  1. Email us for the short ‘expression of interest’ form’ and return it to us by 18th December 2020, telling us who you are and a little about what you are doing to support LGBT+ inclusion and celebration in your organisation.
  2. We will then send you the competition rules, with the final date for design entries being 13th March 2021.
The contact email for both stages of the competition and any queries is, where our Promotions Officer (Andrew) will be happy to help. We have limited the number of organisations we can accommodate to 30, as we are a small charity, so please act fast. (Please also note though, that entries are per Key Stage, so your organisation may be able to submit more than one entry).
The winning entry will be made into the official 2022 LGBT+ History Month badge, which will be worn by thousands of people throughout February and beyond! The winner will also have their badge presented to them at the official Launch of LGBT+ History Month 2022 in October/November 2021, where they can meet the committee. Schools OUT UK, the charity that created History Month, is one of the oldest LGBT+ advocacy charities in the UK.

We are asking you as our initial point of contact to share the poster and press release with the young people’s organisations you work with (schools, sixth-form colleges, universities and youth groups etc.) who then deal with us directly via the above email.

The ‘expression of interest’ is to help us filter any possible unwelcome attention from anti-LGBT+ organisations or individuals.

As the competition is being categorised along Key Stage lines, it will be up to the individual organisations to organise how they decide on their final competition entries. So this can be in lessons, through project work, after school clubs or something similar.

Pride In Education Is Back!

by Laila El-Metoui


                                               click on the image above to book tickets 

After the success of its first-ever global LGBT+ inclusion in education conference in June 2020, Pride in Education is back for half a day on 3rd October 2020 9.30 to 2pm BST (British Summer Time). This second edition is designed to respond to the hundred people who took the time to provide their feedback and requested a stronger focus on practical tools and resources. The pressure is on to emulate the success of the first conference - 99% stated they would recommend the conference to a friend / colleague and the level of satisfaction was very high.

We also received a very large number of individual pledges from delegates; 66% stating  they wanted to be a better ally and challenge jokes, attitudes and behaviours that are homophobic, biphobic  or transphobic, and 65% stating that they wanted to educate themselves further on LGBT+ lives and issues (read 2 books / watch 2 movies / attend 1 training session by the end of 2020).

The organisational pledges demonstrated a willingness make their workplace more inclusive with 51% stating wanting to develop an inclusive culture to enable everyone to be their authentic selves and 38% wanting to celebrate LGBT+ events with colleagues / students / in their workplace.

The full report will be available on our website by the end of the month.  

This second conference offers panel discussions and live Q&As as well as 1-hour workshops on a range of themes from teaching resources to wellbeing, stress management and mindfulness.  Delegates will be able to visit a range of virtual stalls including Mermaids and CliniQ, the first trans organisation in the UK for trans and non-binary people, or take part in an LGBT+ Poetry workshop with British National Diversity Award nominee Andreena Leeanne.  It will be launched by actor Sir Derek Jacobi, supported by Southwark LGBT+ Staff Network, Reel Rebels Radio and powered by Zoom.

#PrideInEducation is taking place at a difficult time for LGBTQ+ people across the world with many countries going through a second or even third wave of Covid-19. Those who were already facing unbelievable challenges – living under anti-LGBTQ+ laws or facing violence, discrimination or eviction from their homes or countries because of their sexuality or gender identity – are now struggling to survive. In addition to raising awareness of these issues and their impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people, #PrideInEducation will offer practical tips and send out a strong message of compassion and inclusion.

Conference organiser Laila El-Metoui comments: “The ongoing pandemic has serious implications for the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people. School closures and lockdown have negatively impacted on everyone, but even more so on LGBTQ+ people trapped in homophobic and transphobic households. It is of the utmost importance that teachers and educators continue to provide an inclusive and compassionate education. This second conference was planned to ensure LGBTQ+ people continue to be visible and celebrated and offer practical creative and wellbeing tools.”

Professor Emeritus Sue Sanders, Chair of Schools Out UK, comments:  “We at Schools OUT UK work tirelessly to produce free resources to usualise and make visible LGBTQ+ people in all their diversity. These resources are available not just for February – UK LGBT+ History Month – but all year round; for libraries, archives, museums, local authorities, galleries, museums and unions, as well as educators. The aim is to enable all of us to play our part in making our society a place where we can all be safe, and to celebrate the many achievements and contributions that LGBTQ+ people have made to our society.” 

This is what one of our Patron Dean Atta has to say about the Conference

#PrideInEducation2020 will run on  Saturday 3rd October 9.30am - 2pm BST. The event is on a sliding scale fee more information

Online Launch For 

LGBT+ HM 2021

In keeping with the current Covid-19 situation, and for the first time ever, Schools OUT UK will be launching History Month 2021 online!

New Patron Dan Vo is currently working with The British Library to organise a full day of online content, with the hope of facilitating interview panels, workshops and other activities. Details will be coming soon - keep following to our website and social media outlets for information. Dan is a freelance museum consultant, guest lecturer, Project Manager of the 'Queer Heritage and Collections Network', volunteer LGBTQ Tour co-ordinator at the V&A Museum and one of the hosts of this year's Museum@Home podcasts.

Join us online on Wednesday 4th November 2020!

A separate press launch is planned for January 2021.
Please Buy Badges and


Due to Covid-19, UK Pride celebrations and other events we would normally attend have been cancelled, severely impacting on our already limited income. Please visit our online shop and buy the 2021 badge variant and lanyards., as these remain our main source of finance. We welcome donation of any size (see further down this Bulletin). Thank you.
Please visiit our SHOP

2021 Virtual Symposium

by Ken Valente

OUTing the Past, in conjunction with Schools OUT UK, hosted its first virtual symposium on 12th September. The free online Zoom event was a response to postponing the conference gathering scheduled for May of this year and dedicated to Completing the Past: LGBT+ History and Creative Production. By many accounts this was a great success. (It was certainly a learning experience!) Approximately 250 people registered for the three events, and our survey indicates that the symposium was the first OUTing the Past event for roughly a quarter of those attending. Beyond reaching new audiences, our survey indicates that over 90% of respondents had a favorable or strongly favorable impression of the symposium.

Rather than replicating the 2020 conference gathering programme, which we intend to offer in 2021, the virtual symposium was conceived as a stage-setting event and featured accepted presenters and special guests who spoke to their various commitments to creatively engaging with LGBT+ history. In particular, participants from the UK, Australia, Mexico and the US discussed their impressions of the potential benefits and limitations of creative responses to the past. They also offered their thoughts on areas of contestation that have arisen – or are likely to emerge – among practitioners and audiences.

A lunchtime session dedicated to Heritage at Home was both surprising and deeply moving. Hosted by Dan Vo, Project Manager of the Queer Heritage and Museums Network and Schools OUT patron, the session featured Joey Hateley (Artistic director of TransAction), Abi Hynes (Writer), Yuen Fong Ling (Artist), Cheryl Morgan (OutStories Bristol), Cyril Nri (Actor, writer, director), Richard O’Leary (Co-ordinator of LGBT Heritage Project, HERe NI) and Grainne Starrs (LGBT Heritage Project, HERe NI). 

Joey Hately, the Gender Joker, got things off to a rollicking start by sharing the wooden penis worn in ‘Mister Stokes: The Man-Woman of Manchester’, the 2016 OTP Festival Theatre production. Other objects shared by guests included vintage images of Vesta Tilley (Hyne), mosaics from the Villa of Cicero (Morgan), a replica of the sandals worn by Edward Carpenter (Ling), and message t-shirts (Starrs). Cyril Nri talked about the 1991 collection of writing by Black gay men, ‘Brother to Brother’, and read from his contribution to the 2014 anthology ‘Black and Gay in the UK’.  Another moving contribution made by Richard O’Leary featured a copy of Bronski Beat's 1984 LP ‘The Age of Consent’. We played out the session to the single ‘Smalltown Boy’ (the band headlined  the 1984 Pits and Perverts concert organised by LGSM), which got the host and several guests dancing in our small Zoom windows.

If you feel you missed something special, then fear not! Video recordings of the three symposium sessions are now available on an OTP YouTube channel that can be accessed at Please help us to draw attention to this new channel by subscribing to it when you visit!
The OTP conference gathering team continues to explore options for rescheduling Completing the Past in 2021, a difficult task given the uncertainties of the pandemic and unforeseeable restrictions. The success of the virtual symposium has proved that we could host a fully online conference. Still, we hope that circumstances will allow for delegates to meet face-to-face if they choose. With this in mind, we’ve launched a project to raise funds for students, artists and activists to participate in future conferences. More information can be found at 

Watch for further updates on future projects and plans for rescheduling Completing the Past at
OUTing The Past 2021:

Covid-19 Options

by Sue Sanders

OUTing the Past in conjunction  with Schools OUT UK, is our national and international LGBT+ History Festival, and will be held through February and March 2021. We will ensure we are Covid proof by working with Zoom, who have generously given us several licences, to host the 18 venues that have so far offered to host the festival. By the time you read this, the call for presentations will be over but we hope we will have at least the same number as last year, around 100.

The way we have designed 2021, the presentation, once chosen by the hubs, will be available to all as we load them on the OTP video channel. The hubs can choose one of three ways to hold their OTP event:

1)  Ask the presenter to video their presentation and put it on the venue's website. We will put the video on the OTP site on a given day. Then it will be permanently available.
2) The venue chooses their presentations and date, and we host a webinar with the presenters. People use the chat and Q and A facilities to engage with the presenters. The event is then uploaded on the venue's and OTP websites.
3)  A hybrid event with a mixture of videos and physical presenters.
What this means is that the presentations will be available to everyone permanently and my hope is that educators will find them invaluable to use and educate their students. The other advantage is that the weather, which in February can be challenging, won't get in the way.

So keep an eye out on our calendar and future OUTbursts. We will tell you the venues and the dates they have chosen to present the fascinating stories of our LGBT+ history.

DFE Relationship and Sex Education


Professor Sue Sanders, Chair, Schools OUT UK:

The government  have finally published their RSE curriculum planning guidance. They have also finally given their response to the consultation on the gender identity consultation. Here we share Mermaids response, which we agree with. (We will put it in the 'governance' section of the Schools OUT UK website, alongside Mermaids' notes on the guidance which we also concur with wholeheartedly).               

Susie Green, CEO, Mermaids, says:
"After years of unhelpful speculation, debate and concern around Gender Recognition Act reform for England and Wales, we are relieved an announcement has been made. Many of our supporters feared that trans and non-binary lives would be negatively impacted by new barriers, so we are pleased that the extraordinary effort of combined LGBTQ+ organisations and allies has prevented such harm. It is particularly welcome news that the Equality Act 2010 remains resolutely unchanged amidst a barrage of misinformed demands to weaken equality law in the UK. 

For too long, transgender and non-binary people of all ages have suffered ill-informed ‘debate’, whilst trying to pursue their education, jobs and personal lives in safety and dignity.  While we welcome news that the cost of the GRC process is to be lowered to an unspecified ‘nominal’ amount and applications moved online, we know from our young service users that they hoped for more and we must repeat our disappointment that none of these proposals offer help to those aged under 18.

We are pleased to see confirmation that three new gender clinics are being opened for adults in the UK, increasing patient choice and access; however, none of these clinics will help support children and young people aged under 18 who currently face waiting times of up to two years for a first appointment, when they should be waiting no longer than 18 weeks. This is nothing short of a national scandal, and we urge the Government and NHS England to help clinicians support those seeking their expertise by investing in the support and care of trans and non-binary young people including the Gender Identity Development Service.

We are disappointed that the Government reforms make no mention of non-binary identities and fall short of self-declaration, a move which would have brought England and Wales into line with our neighbours in the Republic of Ireland, where society has benefited from a de-medicalised system for gender recognition since 2015, without any problematic outcomes. We also thank the British Medical Association for backing the right of transgender and non-binary people to self-identify and acknowledge the milestone achieved only last week when a tribunal ruled that non-binary and gender fluid people are indeed protected under the Equality Act.

We take this opportunity to acknowledge that the Minister for Women and Equalities, the Rt. Honourable Liz Truss MP, has supported a step in the right direction towards offering some transgender adults the freedom and dignity they deserve as valued, respected members of a modern, kind, accepting United Kingdom. Nonetheless, the Government’s own response states that most people who took part in the robust consultation supported meaningful reform and today’s announcement will represent a disappointment for many who took part.

We sincerely hope today’s announcement can herald a new beginning for the important conversation around acknowledging and respecting transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse people of all ages, including children and young people.

We hope we can work with the Government Equalities Office to support and strengthen society as a whole, and heal some of the damage done to a vulnerable group seeking understanding and kindness. It is our sincere wish to engage positively with the Minister and all stakeholders in Parliament to facilitate a more productive conversation around one of society’s most marginalised and misrepresented groups.
To that end, and embarking on a new era in our journey towards trans equality, we renew our call for progress on the following key opportunities:

We believe all individuals deserve autonomy when stating their gender identity, including non-binary people who are still awaiting legal recognition by the State. We call for the age at which a trans person can change their gender on their birth certificates to be lowered to at least 16, bearing in mind that people can already change the gender on their passport and driver’s licence without a GRC. 

We believe trans people should be able to change their birth certificates without going through an intrusive and costly medical process to prove who they are.

Too often, the significance of these changes has been exaggerated and misrepresented. People are generally unaware that trans people under 18 can already change their gender on official government documents such as driving licences and passports without having to gain a Gender Recognition Certificate.

In today’s statement, the Government says:
Britain leads the world as a country where everybody is able to lead their life freely and treated with respect and that, for many years, transgender people have been widely accepted in British society; able to use facilities of their chosen gender; and able to participate fully in modern life.
We believe this statement of hope represents a small but positive improvement for some transgender people. We call for action to bring these inspiring words to life, by offering transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse children and young people the support and dignity they deserve, rather than a woefully under-resourced process. 

Today, we pledge to redouble our efforts to support and defend the next generation of trans doctors, entrepreneurs, politicians, teachers, artists, parents, construction workers, delivery drivers and all those contributing to society in the hope they will one day enjoy their individual right to flourish in a country built for them thrive."
LGBT+ HM on Social Media

by Andrew Dobbin

Our regular Bulletin, which will now be sent out four times a year, keeps you informed of what we as a committee have been doing, but is unavoidably nearly always in the past tense. However, we have a strong online presence that is very much NOW! 

Facebook Cover Pictures

The links to the LGBT+ History Month website, Twitter feed, Facebook page and Instagram page are all at the top of this email. They are updated daily. Our Facebook page rivals Stonewall's for followers. Our Instagram is growing in popularity as we continue to claim our past, commemorating the past LGBT+ lives and events that many people are unaware of. 
Instagram Squares

"...thank you for sharing these wonderful people with our community!

What Are You Planning For 

February 2021?

LGBT+ History Month sets out to celebrate our present. So we have an events Calendar for you to publicise your staff events. 

Afterwards, let us know what you did in during History Month, either as an organiser, participant or visitor (with JPG pictures please) and we can add them to our Your Events page
Voices and Visibility

Schools OUT UK/LGBT+ History Month was a proud partner in the development of that wallchart alongside the University and College Union (UCU), and the TUC. The website provides much more detailed information about the campaigns, organisations and personalities identified in the wallchart, together with audio description from Professor Emeritus Sue Sanders, Chair of Schools OUT UK, the charity that created LGBT+ History Month back in 2005.

Voices and Visibility has brought online the wallchart originally released in 2016. It highlights important legal milestones and identifies significant contributions in LGBT+ history made by individuals, groups and particularly the labour movement since the latter part of the 19th century. The poster is already available to download for free on the LGBT+ History Month website and has been on display at every event SOUK has attended since 2017.

Uncovering Hidden Histories.To mark IDAHOBIT 2020 (International Day Against Homo, Bi, Intersex and Trans phobia) Schools OUT UK, founder of LGBT+ History Month, is proud to announce the release of an LGBT+ website produced by Voices and Visibility - 

Explore the site here

Please donate to Schools OUT UK

Faces of 2022 - 2025

nominate your heroes and

your icons!


2022: Art & Politics  
the arc is long

2023: Art II  
behind the lens

2024: ?

2025: ?
For each year we would like you, our supporters, to nominate the LGBT+ Faces who will represent queer contributions to the various chosen art forms and topics. Our only specification is that your nominee is now dead. We are particularly keen to expand the list of BAME LGBT contributors to the UK. If possible, please also let us know the source of your evidence - hearsay and rumour are not enough.

So if you have a name who you believe has been forgotten, straightened or even deliberately misrepresented by history in one or more of the above subjects, let us know:

Contact Andrew Dobbin, Promotions Officer for Schools OUT UK here

Support Us


With your continued support, we can realise our dreams of more lessons posted on The Classroom, LGBT HM in every school in the UK, a festival hub in every major town in the UK, and a National Museum of LGBT Heritage.

We have done so much and we want to do so much more. A one-off donation of £20 (less than £2 a month) would help us. A regular donation would be amazing.

For decades, Schools OUT UK, and before that The Gay Teachers' Group, has survived - and thrived - as a purely voluntary organisation, with a small income based mainly around the sale of our annual History Month badge. None of the committee receives any income for the work they do.

You can donate via cheque,
BACS or direct debit here

Or with your credit or debit card
on the Paypal website
Copyright © 2019 Schools OUT UK, All rights reserved.


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