Take Pride

This month we're remembering those who took part in the Stonewall Riots, and celebrating the culture and diverse spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ community

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A (very) Brief History of Pride

The 1960s was a time of change and cultural evolution from the Civil Rights Movement to the rise of the second wave of feminism and anti-war protests. In June 1969, as a result of ongoing police harassment, a series of protests took place after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, galvanising the fight for the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. June is now widely recognised as Pride Month, celebrating LGBTQIA+ rights and culture.

10 Notable Dates in the British LGBTQIA+ Calendar

This is absolutely not an exhaustive list, and there are many, many more important dates and notable people who have contributed to the fight

  • 1951 - Roberta Cowell is the first known British trans woman to undergo reassignment surgery
    • The WWII RAF night fighter ace underwent a secret procedure and changed the name on her birth certificate
  • 1967 - the Sexual Offences Act decriminalises sex between two men over 21 - but only if in 'private'
    • However, this does not extend to Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. Sex between two men also remains illegal for the Navy and the Armed Forces
  • 1969 - Stonewall Riots
    • The Stonewall Uprising is largely seen as the birth of the modern-day fight for the LGBTQIA+ rights movement
  • 1972 - London's first Pride march
  • 1982 - Terrence Higgins is the first British person known to die as a result of an AIDS-related illness
    • His partner Rupert Whittaker, close friend Tony Calvert, and Martyn Butler set up the Terrence Higgins Trust in his memory. A year later the government bans men who have sex with other men from donating blood
  • 1988 - Margaret Thatcher introduces Section 28 (repealed 2003)
  • 1992 - WHO declassifies same-sex attraction as a mental illness
  • 1996 - Landmark case rules wrongful dismissal of a transitioning employee
    • It was the first piece of case law anywhere in the world which prevented discrimination in employment or vocational education against a trans person
  • 1999 - David Copeland bombs the Admiral Duncan
    • The former BNP supporter attacked the oldest LGBTQAI+ bar in Soho, killing 3 and wounding at least 70
      •  The event marked a pivotal turning point in the relationship between the LGBTQIA+ community and the Metropolitan Police
  • 2004 - Civil Partnership Act & Gender Recognition Act
    • The Civil Partnership Act gives same-sex couples the same rights as married opposite-sex couples
      • Later, in 2013 the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act passes, legalising same-sex marriages
    • The Gender Recognition Act gives trans people full legal recognition for their appropriate gender
      • At the time of writing, gender options are still limited to 'male' and 'female' so non-binary and gender-fluid people are not currently recognised under the Act
It's clear that there is still a lot of work to do, however, it's uplifting to see how far we've come with regards to fighting for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people in recent years. 
To see what your SU is doing to support our LGBTQIA+ students, check out our campaign page
Swansea University Students' Union