Manchester University’s Athletics Union donned face paint and rainbow attire in support of the event
LGBT History Awareness month happens ever February in the UK, celebrating a number of revolutionary social histories in Britain relating to the LGBT community. 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Street Offences Act 1967 which decriminalised male homosexuality in the privacy of the home. A huge number of the population were liberated and the commemoration of the legislation was moving not just for male homosexuals but for the whole of the LGBT community.
The aim of the month is to increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, their history, lives and their experiences in the curriculum and culture of educational and other institutions, and the wider community. The increase of the awareness of the lives and experiences of the LGBT within educational institutions is one of the most important aims of the month and it is important that a culture of awareness is instilled in universities.
Universities must be safe spaces for LGBT individuals, as university marks the critical transition into adult life which students often find difficult anyway.
The very nature of a university as a large and diverse institution means that every social group must be accounted for equally and fairly. The education system must recognise every single social group and allow them to achieve their fullest potential, not least the LGBT community. Particularly in a culture of university such as sport, stereotypes and gender norms are not uncommon, and it is important that no matter where somebody comes from or what they identify as, they should be treated equally and embraced.
A number of university sports teams across the Athletics Union celebrated LGBT History Awareness Month by wearing the LGBT colours red, orange, yellow and green. All teams were out in full force wearing face paint and rainbow laces to show their support. The positivity surrounding support for LGBT month was only strengthened by a fantastic showing on the day by the Gymnastics and Rugby League clubs. The Gymnastics club won six medals in their annual BUCS competition held in Surrey, whilst the Men’s Rugby League who won BUCS 9s tournament.
It is also noted that the Wednesday just gone marked International Women’s Day, and the university had eleven women’s teams competing.