Section 28 was an amendment to the Local Government Act of 1988, which prohibited local authorities from intentionally 'promoting homosexuality', or promoting the 'acceptibility of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship'. This legislation came into place in 1988, and planted fear into our educational spaces. For years, Section 28 created a culture of silence around LGBT+ identities in our schools, and for many LGBT+ people, this silence became shame.
Section 28 was in place for 15 years, and had an immeasurable impact on generations of LGBT+ young people, as well as limiting the education around LGBT+ identities for all young people. This year, November 18th marks 20 years since Section 28 was fully repealed. We held a special event to explore what Section 28 looked like in our past, its legacy in our present, and how we can learn from it to create a more inclusive future.
This event was hosted by Pride & Progress, and we were thrilled to be joined by three fantastic guest speakers.
Professor Emeritus Sue Sanders, Chair of Schools Out UK, and co-founder of LGBT+ History Month UK
Professor Paul Baker, author of 'OUTRAGEOUS!: The Story of Section 28 and Britian's Battle for LGBT Education'
Professor Catherine Lee, author of 'Pretended: Schools and Section 28' (including her story, which helped inform the film 'Blue Jean')
You can catch up on this event as a podcast, or by watching the presentation below.