1111. Sue Sanders
Sue Sanders, from London, has been one of the UK’s most prominent LGBT rights campaigners for over forty years, and is the Chair of ‘Schools OUT UK’, which founded ‘LGBT History Month’, the annual celebration of diversity, equality and the LGBT community.
As a teacher, Sue first began working with the forerunner of ‘Schools OUT UK’ in 1974, a group working for the equality of LGBT people in the education system. With fellow campaigner, the late Paul Patrick, Sue proposed creating a month dedicated to improving the education of LGBT history in the UK. The UK’s first ‘LGBT History Month’ was launched in 2004 with government support, taking place every year since. From 2014, the initiative has also hosted ‘OUTing the Past’, the official LGBT history festival, which this year is taking place in 18 hubs across five countries, hosting over 100 presentations from leading academics and activists. Through ‘Schools OUT UK’, Sue also instigated the launch of ‘The Classroom’ website, a unique free resource for educators containing over 80 lesson plans that usualise LGBT experience and information across the curriculum and for all ages, and is a vital tool in educating out prejudice. Sue’s award coincides with the start of this year’s LGBT History Month.
In a personal letter to Sue, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your remarkable dedication to campaigning for LGBT rights has shown that LGBT history is all our history. Through your work with ‘Schools OUT UK’, you are ensuring that LGBT education is reaching young people and is promoting equality for all. I wish you every success with this year’s LGBT History Month.”
“I am delighted that this award is coming at the beginning of LGBT History Month which is in its 15th year in 2019. The unpaid team that ensures the month is promoted and resourced works very hard to make LGBT+ people in all their diversity visible and proud. The fact we have over 1500 events on our interactive calendar at the LGBT History Month website shows that round the country dozens of people have taken the time to organise a variety of events from small scale quizzes above pubs to full scale concerts. ‘Outing the Past’, our LGBT history festival, is in its 5th year and we have venues in the island of Ireland, England, Sweden, Norway and New York, and the hubs had the choice of over 100 presentations to choose from! The enthusiasm, dedication and energy that the month enjoys is incredible and my hope is that it will go a long way to educate out prejudice and dispel the negative stereotypes that still motivate homophobia.”
Picture credit: Zefrog
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