I could not be prouder to be the Leader of the Party that, fifty years ago this year, put the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 into law, decriminalising homosexuality between men in England and Wales.
LGBT History Month creates a hugely important space for the LGBT community to talk about their own history, whether it be in the UK or internationally. Alas, this is all too often a history which entails the persecution and subjugation of the LGBT community but it also brings to light shining examples of defiance in the face of adversity.
These are histories which are too often ignored, or even actively suppressed, by establishment narratives which too often fail to recognise not just diversity, but also fail to even acknowledge the importance of sexuality and gender as it has existed throughout human history, across classes, across civilisations and across the globe.
This is why I believe LGBT History Month to be so important – it shows how far we have come as a society but also how far we have to go. It not only teaches us the ways in which homophobia and transphobia rear their ugly heads, but also teaches us lessons of past successes in the cause of LGBT liberation. It teaches us the achievements of grassroots organisations and movements, it shows us where Governments have helped the cause and where they’ve hindered it, and it highlights how we can all continue the fight started by those who have come before us.