Blog: Celebrating our LGBT+ members and history

This year’s LGBT+ History Month also gives us a chance to remember the vital role LGBT+ workers play in our health service

Graphic for UNISON celebrating LGBT+ History Month

This month, UNISON has been celebrating LGBT+ History Month. It was founded in 2004, as an opportunity for everyone to raise awareness of the history, lives and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

UNISON has taken a look back at the positive contribution activists and members have made to the struggle for equality. Meanwhile, across the union, events continue to celebrate the union’s Year of LGBT+ Workers.

The theme for the 2024 LGBT+ History Month is medicine – #UnderTheScope – serving as a reminder that the NHS and healthcare services would not be the same without LGBT+ people and their contribution to medical advances and health care. But we must also remember and understand the health inequalities faced by LGBT+ people.

In recent years, the UK has been steadily falling in the rankings of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association’s Rainbow Map of European countries. As discrimination against LGBT+ people increases in the UK, it’s more important than ever to take steps to tackle the growing inequalities.

With the current government fuelling hate and prejudice and actively stopping progressive legislation, we must get together and fight for positive change in workplaces and society, to make LGBT+ workers more visible and confident in their rights. We cannot tolerate hateful speech and rhetoric.

Over the past decades, UNISON has built a great community of LGBT+ activists and now we have a chance to give a platform to and listen to LGBT+ people and their needs. I hope you will join me and UNISON in celebrating LGBT+ History Month – together we can be the change this country needs to make every LGBT+ person feel safe and valued.