LGBT History Month
February is LGBT history month in the UK which sees numerous activities and events held all around the country in an effort to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public. Last year saw the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, while this year marks 30 years since Section 28 was passed, an infamous homophobic regulation which prevented local authorities from disseminating materials ‘promoting homosexuality’ in schools, as well as 40 years since the murder of LGBT campaigner Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected as a councillor in the USA.
While Brighton’s biggest LGBT celebration is reserved for August in the form of Brighton Pride, it is no surprise that there is plenty going on to celebrate LGBT history month in the UK’s unofficial ‘gay capital’. The ‘B Right On’ Festival takes place this year from 16th February to 3rd March with a host of events, all held in the Phil Starr Pavilion in Kemptown. Here are just a selection taking place over the next few weeks.
On the opening Saturday of the festival, everyone is invited to go along to the Big Community Lunch, in which volunteers will bring home cooked food to share in an event intended to raise money for the Rainbow Fund which supports local LGBT organisations. On the following Monday there is another chance to enjoy some good food for a good cause as the Cream Tea with LGBT Switchboard takes place, providing an opportunity to learn about the work of this local organisation.
There are also a number of talks taking place throughout the festival to raise awareness and educate people about issues that affect the LGBT community. On Monday 19th February the free event SuicideTALK is being held to discuss an issue which is all too common in LGBT people. Additionally the Crown Prosecution Service will host two talks on Understanding Hate Crime and Understanding Domestic Abuse which provide an opportunity to educate yourself on two important issues and to learn what you could do to help minimise them.
There are also plenty of lighter events going on to give you a bit of relief, including the musical The Seven Doors of Danny based on Shakespeare’s The Seven Ages of Man, the cabaret show Dine With the Stars held at the Jury’s Inn, and the Rainbow Fund Disco Ball which is held on the final day of the festival.
If these events leave you feeling inspired to get involved, there is a Work and Volunteer Fair held on 22nd February to give you an idea of how you can help in the community.
With all of this and more going on there is plenty of opportunity to have some fun, learn some new things and experience some of the local culture during this year’s B Right On Festival!