The LGBT History Month started in 2005 with over 150 events nationwide and followed the abolition of Section 28, which had prevented teachers from talking about being LGBT with pupils, and meant discrimination and prejudice were unchallenged in British schools. February’s LGBT History Month invites everyone to run awareness raising events and activities to celebrate and embrace diversity in all its forms, writes Michael Holland.

The LGBT Forum, Opening Doors London and Southwark Community will be organising events during the month, as will other LGBT organisations around the city.  Linnea Frank of ODL, who run monthly groups and activities across London for LGBTQ people over 50, says, ‘There is still a lot of discrimination towards LGBT people and challenges facing the community. Creating events promotes awareness of LGBT history and life and gives the a marginalised group space to showcase when they would otherwise not have the opportunity… We will be working with artists, performers and supporters of the LGBT community to create an event that is vibrant and reflective of the talent and diversity of the community. We will also be reaching out to other Southwark based organisations like Community Southwark and United St Saviour’s Charity who have funded Opening Doors to run events like this.’

In Bermondsey, The Queer Arts Weekender event at Shortwave Cafe will include queer performers, visual artists and musicians coming together for a weekend of celebration and appreciation of the creativity of the LGBTQ community.

Amongst those performing and exhibiting will be artists Philippa Punchard and Chloe Wing; singer Faye Wheeler; Jennifer Hartmann of Baal Fashion with a show of Trans Fashion, and Frankie Tuffragette, whose songs are ‘dark surreal feelingscapes as a raw energetic punk rock’!

Friday will be quite diverse with fashion, solo musicians and word pieces, with Saturday having more of a cabaret feel to it.

Queer Arts Weekender is on at Shortwave Cafe, Unit H05, The Biscuit Factory, 100 Clements Road, Bermondsey, SE16 4DG 9th – 10th February. Friday from 6.30pm; Saturday from 10am – 10.30pm. Admission free.