What is LGBTQ+ month? What is the theme for 2023? And how can you support and educate your team during the month? Let’s dive in.
What is LGBT+ Month?
LGBT+ month takes place every February ahead of LGBT+ Pride month in June. Both months look to educate people about historic LGBT+ events, celebrate equality milestones and improve LGBTQIA+ visibility in the United Kingdom (1).
LGBT+ month 2023 looks to celebrate the 1.5 million LGBT+ people living in England and Wales. 2023 is a significant year, and it marks 20 years since the repeal of Section 28 in 2003. Section 28 was the law that banned the “promotion of homosexuality” in the UK, attacking LBGT+ visibility (2). This year celebrates the progress made in the last 20 years whilst recognising what else we can do to support the LGBTQIA community moving forward.
LGBT+ Month 2023
The LGBT+ month theme for 2023 is ‘Behind the Lens’. This theme aims to commemorate LGBTQIA+ people for their contribution to film and cinema from behind the camera (3). It has
only been in recent times that we’ve seen more queer representation within media and film. Section 28 was only repealed in 2003, depriving people of LGBTQIA+ representation in schools and local authorities.
How Can You Support + Educate Staff During LGBT+ Month?
Awareness around LGBT+ issues should take place all year round in the workplace. However, you can use this month to look at how you are supporting LGBTQIA+ staff within your workplace and educating other team members about the significance of this month.
Stonewall found that almost one in five LGBTQIA+ staff have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in the last year because they’re LGBTQIA+ (4). Statistics like this are why it is vital that businesses and management teams are aware of their employees’ wellbeing and treatment in the workplace. During the month and beyond, take the time to reassess how you are supporting LGBTQIA+ team members. And if you’re not sure where to start, keep on reading.
- Take action to make your workplace safer for LGBTQIA+
Reassess current policies and look to make your company inclusive, unbiased and safe. More than a third of LGBTQIA+ staff have hidden that they are LGBTQIA+ at work for fear of discrimination. So, take note of all aspects of your HR strategy and align to be inclusive of everyone (4).
2. Share resources, films, documentaries and books for your employees to educate
The theme for LGBT+ month is all about celebrating LGBTQIA+ communities and their impact on film and cinema. Share some TV shows or movies directed by LGBTQIA+ people or include actors from the community. Documentaries explaining Stonewall would also help educate people on the significance of LGBT+ month.
3. Host a webinar or live panel event with LGBTQ+
Invite external speakers or provide visibility to LGBTQ+ people in your company to shed insight and educate your teams on how they can be an ally. Or, use resources like Stonewall’s “Come Out For LGBT: Becoming an active LGBT ally” article to provide a starting point for people to further their own education.
It is important to note that many people within the LGBTQIA+ community feel that teaching others how to be an ally should not be their responsibility, as the process can be very emotionally draining. Yet, if they are willing to share their experiences and want to advise others, hosting a webinar or live talk is a great interactive way to do this.
Read our previous article, which highlights some important LGBTQIA+ workplace statistics.
Ensure to further your own research through resources like Stonewall, LGBT Health and the LGBT Foundation and be an example for your people.
- Megan Lupton, ‘How to celebrate LGBT History Month 2023 in your workplace’, The Motivational Speakers Agency – https://motivationalspeakersagency.co.uk/news/how-to-celebrate-lgbt-history-month
- ‘Section 28 bites the dust’, Stonewall –
3. LGBT+ History Month 2023, Inclusive Workplace, Stonewall – https://www.stonewall.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/lgbt-history-month-2023
4. LGBTQIA+ Workplace Statistics, Each Person – https://www.eachperson.com/blog/lgbtqia-workplace-statistics