Article 12 February 2021

LGBTQ+ History Month 2021: Unsung People

February marks LGBTQ+ History Month and the theme for 2021 is unsung people.

Throughout the LGBTQ+ community, there are lots of people who have changed history and helped the world grow to be a more inclusive place. Here are some of the heroes of the LGBTQ+ community:

Sue Sanders

​​​​​​​Sue Sanders has been one of the UK’s most prominent LGBTQ+ activists for over 40 years. Sue is the Chair to the ‘Schools OUT UK’ group which founded LGBT History Month.

Sue started her career as a teacher and began working with Schools OUT in 1974. She proposed dedicating a month to improving the education around LGBT matters to the late Paul Patrick, an LGBT activist, and so LGBT History Month was born in 2004. With support from the government, LGBT History Month has been an annual event ever since.

Sue also instigated the launch of a website, The Classroom, which has free resources and information across the curriculum for all ages regarding LGBT matters.

“My passion has been about making LGBT people visible because we know that if you make people visible, people change: the prejudices and stereotypes get blown. I remember people saying if every LGBT person woke up with green hair the world would change.” Sue Sanders, LGBT Activist.

Marsha P Johnson

Some may already know her name, but Marsha P Johnson is the Black, transgender woman who was one of the leaders that began the Stonewall Riots. The riots are now celebrated as the well-known festival across the world: Pride.

In 1970, together with fellow activists, Marsha founded the Street Transvestite Activist Revolutionaries (STAR), a group that provided food, shelter, and critical support to other trans and non-binary youths in New York. I was one of the first-ever LGBTQ+ organisations.

Marsha died in 1992, while her death was officially ruled a suicide, her friends believe she may have been murdered and the case has since been reopened.

Marsha set the standard for LGBTQ+ Activism across the world.

Rev. Jide Macaulay

Rev. Jide Macaulay is an openly gay British-Nigerian Christina Minister, who is heavily decoration for his works across the UK and worldwide with people of faith and the LGBT community. He has written several books and poetry as well as writing for various Christian and faith journals.

Jide focuses his ministry on inclusion and reconciliation of sexuality spirituality and human rights, helping people with and without religious beliefs understand more around LGBT issues and has won the Black LGBT Community Award for ‘Man of the Year’ for his works.

There are many, many more unsung heroes of the LGBTQ+ community and we even have some of our colleagues to thank for progression in our networks and for making Mitie a better place to work.

If you are LGBT or an ally, why not join Proud to be?​​​​​​​

Proud to be is a network all about educating, informing and inspiring our people to be themselves by promoting an inclusive culture in the workplace, particularly around LGBTQ+.