Newham youngsters celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month

Queer young people from Newham contributed to a flag-stitching project

Queer young people from Newham contributed to a flag-stitching project aimed at opening up conversations around the Progress Pride flag - Credit: Newham Council

Newham Council is partnering with the Recorder until March 2022 to celebrate Year of the Young Person - marking the achievements of young people and highlighting the services and support aimed at them.

Newham’s young people joined the rest of the UK in celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month throughout February.

Newham Council’s youth participation team delivered a wide range of activities for young people during the month.

The annual celebration shines a spotlight on the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer or questioning people and recognises the various movements that have advocated their rights and political and social freedoms.

Youth participation worker biff nesbitt said: “Young people were invited to think about and share their ‘queer heroes’ – people who have inspired them and helped to shape the world so that we can all be free to be.”

Queer is an umbrella term for the spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities.

Among the many historical and modern day figures celebrated during the month were Alan Turing, the creator of modern computing, who was convicted because of his sexuality; Audre Lorde, an African-American poet and Marsha P. Johnson, an African-American transgender woman who were both revolutionary LGBTQ+ rights activists, and Olympic champions Tom Daley and Nicola Adams.

Most Read

The youth participation team also collaborated with the LGBTQ+ network at The London Academy of Excellence, a sixth form college in Stratford, to develop and deliver a workshop for students as part of a personal development day to mark LGBTQ+ History Month.

Tom Daley attending the Brit Awards 2022 at the O2 Arena, London. Picture date: Tuesday February 8,

Tom Daley was among those hailed by Newham youngsters - Credit: PA

During the half-term holiday, queer young people from across the borough took part in an event called Queer the Table at Stratford Youth Zone, where they shared stories of their queer heroes and discussed their experiences of being young and queer.

As part of the event, they contributed to a flag-stitching project which aimed to open up conversations around the Progress Pride flag, while tapping into their creative skills.

biff said: “We had an amazing response from the young people and the group had a brilliant time.

“What is clear, from the conversations we have had with young people throughout LGBTQ+ History Month, is how important it is for queer young people to have a safe space to meet so they can be free to be their true authentic selves without fear of judgement and where they can support each other and explore what they want to see in our community - within Newham and beyond.

“We will be working with Newham’s LGBTQ+ young people to develop this offer.”

If anyone wants to get involved in this work or hear more, please contact: biff.nesbitt@newham.gov.uk.