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York celebrates LGBT+ history and future

York LGBT+ Pride Parade

LGBT+ Pride parade in York 2018.

Each February communities across the UK come together to reflect on and share LGBT+ history and celebrate culture.

LGBT+ History

York has played an important role in LGBT+ history, as Anne Lister – often referred to as the first ‘modern lesbian’ – had her marriage to Ann Walker ‘blessed’ at Holy Trinity Church in Goodramgate in 1834.

Data from the most recent census highlights the vibrancy of York’s LGBT+ community – with 2% of the city’s population identifying as gay or lesbian – higher than both the national (1.5%) and regional figures (1.4%).

A total of 2.8% of the population identified as bisexual, more than double the national or regional figures

Trans frontier

In 2021 the council voted to become trans-inclusive, which included a range of proposals, such as flying the trans pride flag above the Mansion House twice a year.

The percentage of York residents identifying as a trans man or trans woman was 0.1% – the same as both the national and regional figures. 0.3% of the population identified as other gender identities, 0.2% more than the national and regional figures.

Councillor Darryl Smalley, the council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “York is a city which prides itself on being welcoming to all. With strong traditions of equality and pioneering social reform, I’m delighted that York continues to be home to diverse communities, all of which contribute to the rich fabric of life in the city.

“Visibility and representation is crucial in raising awareness and educating the public about the difficulties affecting the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“LGBT History Month is a time to discover the stories of the LGBT+ community, acknowledge the prejudice they have faced, and celebrate the progress that has been achieved.”

Final thought

As we celebrate LGBT+ History month there’s a temptation to celebrate the wins and celebrate our arrival at the end of history. Sadly, we have not reached tolerance and equality yet, the trans community are under near continual attack in the media and are often used as props in a developing culture war.

It’s important that we review the history of LGBT+ rights. That history can show us the process by which minorities are first named, enter the public consciousness, are normalised, have their rights enshrined and eventually, hopefully, live in a society where they are equal and respected as the majority. For some in the LGBT+ community, this process is further along than others.

Curia LGBT+ Commission 2022

Curia’s 2022 LGBT+ Commission explored how the UK can become a more inclusive country, you can read more by clicking the link above or view the Inquiry Session on Hate Crime, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence below:

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