Thursday 4th February 2021

Teenage Cancer Trust - LGBT History MonthBefore you get started: Some of these resources or accounts might not be suitable for everyone, especially those under the age of 18. Always check the age guidance and look to see what subjects they contain. Some of the resources we share may contain strong language, offensive language, discriminatory treatment, nudity, scenes of a sexual nature, themes of death and dying, and/or violence. We don’t hold any responsibility for the content on other sites or accounts.

TV, films and documentaries 

Online streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer and All4 have a range of thought-provoking programmes to add to your list which deal with issues of LGBTQ+ rights, gender identity, gender expression, gay liberation, the progress we’ve made and the progress we still need to make.

Check out this list for LGBT+ History Month this February:

This iconic drama series shines a light on the New York City ballroom scene in the 1980s. It shows the diverse experiences of the LGBTQ+ youth at that time (in particular trans people of colour), the families they built within this community, the challenges and discrimination they faced, as well as their triumphs and joy.

It’s A Sin
Channel 4’s new drama series It’s A Sin shows the lives of five LGBTQ+ friends in a house share in 1980s London, just as the threat of HIV and AIDs was becoming clearer. We learn a lot about the reality of the virus back then, the real people it affected, the lives it ended far too soon, and the huge progress we’ve made in treating the disease since then. 

The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson
Discover the amazing story and achievements of Marsh P Johnson, the gay and trans-rights activist who fought for equality in New York City at the Stonewall uprising, as well as many other protests and events before her untimely and unsolved death in 1992. 

This Netflix documentary features famous trans and non-binary actors, directors, writers and producers, telling the story of how trans and non-binary people have been portrayed in the media in the past, the progress that’s been made, and the work that’s still to be done to make sure all gender identities are better represented. 

Gay Britannia 
The BBC produced this series of shows and radio programmes in 2017 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 in the UK, which partially decriminalised gay sex.


Check out these books to read this LBGT+ History Month:

The Stonewall Reader
Read first-hand accounts from the LGBTQ+ people who were at the turning point that was uprising at the Stonewall pub in Greenwich Village (New York), knows as the Stonewall riots.

Good As You, by Paul Flynn
A look back at the last 30 years in Britain, from gay liberation to gay marriage. This book also explores the cultural importance of music, nightlife and TV shows in the progress that’s been made.

We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation, by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown
A photographic journey throughout LGBTQ+ activism and liberation. This book is made by the creators of popular Instagram account @lgbt_history.

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, by Helena Whitbread 
The personal testimonies of Anne Lister, also known as Gentleman Jack and the ‘first modern lesbian’. 

How to Survive a Plague: The story of how activists and scientists tamed AIDS, by David France 
This book tells the story of how grassroots organisations harnessed scientific research to raise awareness of HIV and AIDs and to ultimately save lives, when there was widespread indifference from wider society and governments at the time. 

Accounts to follow

Instagram and other social media can be a great place to learn more about the history of the community. Check out these accounts to follow this LBGT+ History Month: 

  • @lgbt_history documents the real people behind LGBTQ+ history and champions their often unheard stories.
  • @lesbianherstoryarchives is an Instagram version of the real-life collection of items, letters and literature held in New York, in memory of the voices the community has lost
  • @queerbible was set up by London-based model and presenter Jack Guinness and acts as a database of people who have changed the LGBTQ+ community through activism, art and performance. 

Read more about how we support LGBTQ+ young people with cancer in our blog post with our Chief Nurse Dr Louise Soanes.