NHS North West and equalities organisations celebrate LGBT History Month with launch of LGBT

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To mark LGB&T History Month 2011, NHS North West have led on work with the Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) and the Trans Resource & Empowerment Centre (TREC), to create a timeline of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) history.

The timeline celebrates the history and achievements of LGB&T people, particularly those that have contributed to healthcare over the years, and the development of a vibrant and active community in the North West.

Key figures who are celebrated, include the now legendary gay rights campaigner Alan Horsfall, who in 1959 tabled a motion to his local Labour party in Lancashire to back the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Dr. Louisa Martindale is also celebrated, she became the first woman GP when she set up a private practice in Brighton in 1906. Professor Stephen Whittle is also recognised for his role in trans activism and equality.

Shahnaz Ali, associate director for equality, diversity and human rights at NHS North West, says: “We’re delighted to launch this exhibition to coincide with LGB&T History Month 2011. We commissioned this work to document the experiences of LGB&T people in relation to medicine before and after the founding of the NHS. We also wanted to highlight and acknowledge the individual contributions made by LGB&T people to medicine and the evolution of health care.”

“We hope this exhibition encourages the North West health service and its partners to continue to develop their commitment to Equality, Diversity and Human Rights.”

Paul Martin, Chief Executive of the Lesbian & Gay Foundation said: “It is great to see NHS North West celebrating LGBT History Month and supporting LGB&T organisations like the LGF and TREC. The timeline is a lasting reminder of the contributions LGB&T people have made, not only to healthcare, but to history in general. It also acts as an inspiration to this and the next generation of LGB&T people to go forward and create their own history.”

“We would like to pay tribute to NHS North West for taking the lead in pushing equality and diversity work forward.”

The LGBT timeline will be launched on Tuesday 1st February at the Lesbian & Gay Foundation, Number 5, Richmond Street, Manchester. It is a free event and all are welcome to attend. The exhibition will be open from 1pm until 9pm.

The exhibition will then be off on a tour of the North West, sharing this celebration of LGB&T history with the region.