Marking LGBT+ History Month through art

Fran Goble, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, shares how MTVH marked LGBT+ History Month.

In February, here at MTVH and across the world, we celebrate LGBTQIA+ History Month.

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the UK's very first Pride March back in 1972. This anniversary is an important milestone on a complex and continuous journey towards full equality, a journey that has suffered many setbacks while still always moving forwards.

This journey towards equality is reflected in the tagline for this year's LGBT+ History Month: ‘the arc is long.' The tagline is inspired by Dr Martin Luther King Jnr’s quote “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice”.

The theme for this year was Art! Throughout the month, we showcased five artists who expressed their orientation and identity through their work. Each artist represented a different part of the L,G,B,T and ‘+’ community. We also held an internal art competition for our creative colleagues, challenging them to create a piece of art that they are PROUD of.

To end our LGBT+ History Month celebrations, we held an educational webinar and discussion group on 'Misgendering' in partnership with Micro Rainbow, an organisation committed to providing safe housing, education and training opportunities for LGBTQI+ asylum seekers and refugees.

During the session, we discussed what misgendering is and how it can effect transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people. Sometimes, people unintentionally or intentionally continue to refer to a person using the pronouns they identified with before transition or based on how they appear to the other person.

A person's journey to becoming their authentic gender can be an important and affirming step that is often very difficult, but it shouldn't have to be. If we are open to understanding more about the varied spectrum of gender identity, using correct pronouns and how to ask questions in the right way, we can mitigate discomfort for colleagues and residents and make positive steps towards a more inclusive workplace and society for all.