February is a time of celebrating love in all its forms: romantic, platonic, affectionate, now you can even get Valentine’s card for the cat – meow!
The shops (if they were open) are usually brimming with cards, heart-shaped balloons and flowers right about now. It’s easy to either see it all as superficial or to get lost in the materialism of the month of love, but how about taking a moment to consider what love means to us, and what we can do to create more love in this world.
This blog is about LGBTQ+ History month and how important it is that everyone has the right to love – not only who they want but also to be able to love themselves for who they are without judgement or prejudice from others. Whether we are a member of the LGBTQ+ community or not, this month is important: there are a wealth of resources and events online and here at the Hub we will be sharing some of these resources with you.
It is an apt reminder that LGBTQ+ History month is the same month as Valentine’s, where people often make a public declaration of love, because historically many people who identify as LGBTQ+ did not have the freedom to live the life they wanted or to love who they wanted to, without prejudice or even prosecution. Even today, many people are still subject to harassment and discrimination because of the way they identify.
In the UK, the origin of the LGBTQ+ History month is the abolition in 2003 of Section 28 – a law whose existence caused many gay and lesbian groups to close or limit their activities, and made many people feel unable to be their true selves, even in the company of family and friends. February 2003 marked a significant moment in the UK for the LGBTQ+ movement and set us on the road to a more inclusive society. February has become a month to celebrate the lives and achievements of those in the LGBTQ+ community and to remind ourselves of progress that still needs to be made.
Everyone wants to be free to be themselves and express themselves without judgement. For so long people who identify as LGBTQ+ could not enjoy the same freedom of expression as other people. February is a month where we can look back and see the progress society has made so far, and also look forward to an improved future. We can continue to make progress through openness and education on LGBTQ+ issues, and the history of the gay rights movement. Negative stereotypes need to be challenged and people who identify LGBTQ+ have their voices heard. This way we can continue to move towards a fully inclusive society where sexuality and gender are spoken about openly. We have come so far in recent years and this is reflected in TV shows like Star Trek having their first non-binary character, but we have to work to maintain this and keep inclusivity at the forefront of everything we do.
The theme of LGBTQ+ month in 2021 is Body, Mind, Spirit. It feels really relevant to us at the Harmonious Hub because it resonates with our own focus that we as individuals need that feeling of balance and harmony between our body and mind. How can a person feel comfortable and balanced in their own body, mind and spirit if they do not feel accepted for who they are?
We have a responsibility to everyone in the LGBTQ+ community, whether we consider ourselves as part of that community or not, to show love, understanding and acceptance; to listen, learn and have an open heart. This is the way we get that warm feeling of love towards others and we are able to love ourselves too.
This past year has been tough on everyone, so let’s celebrate others, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community, let’s focus on our collective strength, our humanity and our kindness, and feel the harmony grow in our world.