By Kimberley Levey @FiziKizi
The LGBT+ community celebrated LGBT History Month this February in response to claims of there being “nothing in Sheffield”.
On Tuesday 9th, LGBT Sheffield organised a pop up cafe health awareness event, bringing together health organisations from around Sheffield to provide information to LGBT people on what resources are available to them.
Kath Housley the chair of LGBT Sheffield said, “Events like this get information out to LGBT people that don’t know where to get it, they wouldn’t normally reach these service providers.
“It’s bringing people together, sharing information and getting some good information.”
The charity aim to raise awareness of the cafe as a ‘safe space’ for the LGBT community to meet others.
Diane Howard, 55, a meter reader from Doncaster said: “Sometimes you can feel really isolated, thinking like you’re the only one by yourself.
“It’s good to come to these to find out more about what’s going on and feel a part of it.”
Despite the calendar of events and the support of councillors and services in Sheffield, LGBT Sheffield believe there is still some progress to make in the city’s relationship with the LGBT community.
Ms Housley believes Sheffield’s relationship with the LGBT community is “not very good at all” and that it’s only been in recent years they have considered the community in decision making.
“There’s nothing in Sheffield. They’ve never invested in the LGBT community and it’s only recently since LGBT Sheffield was formed that they’re beginning to know that there is an LGBT community.”
LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered) History Month first began in 2005 as a response to the repeal of Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 which prohibited the teaching of acceptance of homosexuality in schools or councils.
Now in it’s 11th year, the annual event has grown and charities in Sheffield have organised a month of events to celebrate the LGBT community and to raise awareness of issues facing them.
Unlike cities such as Manchester which hosted one of the first ever LGBT history festivals last year, Sheffield doesn’t have much provision for the community.
Ms Housley added: “Years and years ago there were a lot more premises, bars and places to go but I don’t think it’s all about bars and clubs and going out for a drink, there should be more cultural stuff like coffee shops, book swaps or poetry readings; it’s not all about going out and getting drunk.”
Felicity Talbot, a 19-year-old electrical engineering student at Sheffield Hallam echoed this apathetic attitude surrounding the LGBT community in Sheffield.
She said: “It’s a reflection of both sides of the people of Sheffield.
“Compared to places like Manchester it just seems to be like ‘yeah we’re here but do we need to turn up to a cafe or do we just need to exist’.
“Sheffield seems to be less of a pride city and more of a just ‘yeah we’re here.’’
LGBT History month continues throughout February and it is hoped that in the future Sheffield will see more provided for the LGBT community.
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