February is the month of love in multiple ways. Not only does it have the universal
day for celebrating love, Valentine’s Day, but it has also become the LGBTQ +
Throughout history life has been difficult for people of certain sexualities, with there
being a lot of stigma, and sometimes even hate, towards people who don’t identify
as heterosexual. Not only this, but until recently people who identified as LGBTQ+
didn’t receive the same rights as ‘straight’ people. For example, it wasn’t until 2013
that same sex marriage was made legal in the UK, and there are still even some
countries that don’t allow it.
The world has come a long way, with people being much more accepting of those
who choose to identify themselves as LGBTQ+, however there is still much more
that needs to be done to ensure that everyone is treated equally and have equal
rights, and to change some of the negative attitudes and stereotypes held by certain
members of society.
Below are some key events and things that have happened which helped towards
the recognition and equal rights of the LGBTQ+ community, and that paved the way
towards creating a more open and accepting society.
The First Known Sexual Reassignment Surgery
In 1926, Christine Jorgensen became the first person to publicly transition,
undergoing sexual reassignment surgery to change from a male to a female. This
became a worldwide sensation, and since then more and more people have chosen
to transition in order to identify as the gender they most associate with. It is now
much more widely accepted and welcomed than it was when it first started to
happen, however there are still some parts of society and places in the world who
disagree with gender realignment, and more needs to be done to try and remove the
negative stigma still surrounding those who are transgender.
Civil Partnership Act
In 2004, the civil partnership act was passed, which allowed same sex couples to
unite and have their relationship legally recognised, receiving the same rights as
It wasn’t until 2013, almost 10 years later, that it became legal for couples of the
same sex to get married.
Gender Recognition Act
Whilst the first known transition was in 1926, it wasn’t until 2005 that it became legal
for an individual to change their gender and to be recognised as their desired
However, currently an individual can only legally be recognised as male and female,
there is no option under the law to be seen as non-binary or any other gender, so
this is a step that still needs to be taken.
Supreme Court Rules in Favour of Gay Rights
In January 1958, for the first time in history, the supreme court ruled in favour of gay
rights after the post-office refused to deliver a publication that was pro-gay.
Whilst a lot has been done to promote equal rights for people of all sexual
orientations, there is still much more that needs to be done in terms of gay rights. For
example, non-binary people can’t identify as this on their passport, same-sex
marriage is still illegal in places such as Northern Ireland, and in the majority of
schools they don’t include LGBTQ+ in their sexual education lessons.