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LGBTQIA+ UK News Round-Up: February & March 2024

After a four-day Easter bank holiday, we know just how hard it can be to go back to work; especially when you’ve got an inbox full of emails to sift through and you’ve just noticed that massive Lindt bunny stain on your favourite pair of WFH joggers.

So, to ease the chocolate-dazed transition back into life post-Easter (and the start of April, can you believe it?) we’ve rounded up some of the most important LGBTQIA+ news stories in the UK over the past two months. 

The UK Parliament hosted its first all-trans panel to discuss issues facing transgender and non-binary children in UK schools

Students, legal experts and teachers attended the panel on 6 February to educate politicians about the stark experiences of transgender, non-binary and questioning children in the British education system. Held by MPs Kate Osborne and Caroline Nokes, the event was scheduled in response to the government’s damaging new guidance on how to support transgender children at school; such guidance includes harmful ideas that gender is a “contested belief” and permits school staff to decline a trans student’s request to use different pronouns.

While this panel is a step in the right direction for supporting trans youth - especially since it was revealed that many trans children have stopped going to school as a result of transphobia and violence within classrooms and on the playground - politicians still need to do more to prove events like these aren’t just empty gestures towards allyship; just one day after the panel, Rishi Sunak made a jibe about trans people during Prime Minister’s Questions while the mother of murdered-trans-teen Brianna Ghey was in the audience.

The Conversion Therapy bill failed to move through parliament as MPs thwarted discussions with anti-trans hatred

Six years after the Tories first promised a ban on conversion therapy, the Private Member’s Bill was finally brought to debate at the beginning of March, coinciding with International Women’s Day . Despite hopes this debate would mark an end to this barbaric practice in the UK, anti-conversion therapy ban MPs sabotaged the session by ‘filibustering’ the bill with lies steeped in transphobia. As a result, the debate ran out of time and the bill failed to move through parliament.

During the debate, Suella Braverman called for a ‘total’ ban on transitioning for under-18s and one MP spoke for a continuous hour in an attempt to waste time, following his peers by repeating anti-trans dogwhistles. Many other MPs also dropped the “T” from the LGBTQ+ acronym when it was their chance to talk, leading to one MP having to clarify in her speech that dropping this letter suggests that trans people do not exist and that they are lesser than other LGB people. I will not stand for it.”

A benefit show in memory of Brianna Ghey took place in Manchester’s Gay Village

To mark the first anniversary of Brianna Ghey’s murder, the show was held to raise money for Peace and Mind UK , a not-for-profit organisation set up by Brianna’s mother in memory of her daughter; Brianna was stabbed to death in a transphobic attack in Warrington last February by two teenagers who have since been given life sentences.

Organised by trans campaigner and TV personality Jaxon Feeley, ‘Live Your Truth’ took place at the city’s renowned LGBTQIA+ venue, Brewers Club on Canal Street. The show included performances from Manchester royalty Jsky, Gay Elvis, Smashby, Alexa Vox, Christopher Hall, Michelle Lawson and Amrick Channa. More than £1,700 was raised at the show , with even more donations coming in online.

You can continue to donate to the event and Brianna’s cause here ; all proceeds go to the Peace in Mind UK campaign, which has amassed an incredible £80,000 so far. 

Four teens were charged, one with attempted murder, following a transphobic attack in London

Just one day before the aforementioned benefit show that marked the anniversary of Brianna Ghey’s murder, another trans teen was subject to a transphobic attack in Wealdstone, northwest London. (TW: graphic imagery) The victim was attending a roller-skating party with friends at Harrow Leisure Centre when she was attacked by a group of four teens. Now all charged , the teenagers hurled transphobic abuse at the young trans woman, before stabbing her 14 times. She was rushed to hospital for treatment and subsequently discharged. 

A plaque honouring The Black Lesbian & Gay Centre in Peckham was unveiled

The third of five rainbow plaques to be installed across London to preserve hidden and lost LGBTQIA+ heritage, this latest plaque in Peckham honours the work of the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre (BLGC) in the 80s and 90s. The BLGC was set up by a group of activists who wanted to provide vital support to queer communities of colour in an era defined by the rise of HIV and AIDS, and harmful Thatcherisim, including Section 28.

Before its closure in 1995, the Peckham centre played an important role in raising awareness and challenging homophobia and racism in wider society; the BLGC provided counselling services, a helpline, social and cultural events and even a library to not just the local community, to but to queer people of colour across the nation. 

Girls Aloud were announced as headliners for Brighton Pride 2024

Straight off the back of their arena tour in memory of late bandmember Sarah Harding, Girls Aloud were announced as this year’s headliners for Brighton Pride , playing alongside other LGBTQ+ icons like Mika, S Club, Billy Porter and Sophie Ellis-Bextor; the Murder-on-the-Dancefloor singer continues to enjoy her well-deserved revival by also headlining Poole’s very first Pride this year.

More than 150 LGBTQIA+ artists are set to perform over the two-day event, which is arguably also the most famous Pride in the whole of the UK. Funds raised from Brighton Pride go towards local grant-making organisation Brighton Rainbow Fund , a group that supports LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS organisations in Brighton and Hove.

You can find a full list of Pride Events in the UK on our LGBTQIA+ UK Pride Events Calendar 2024 . We’ve also marked which events the Rainbow & Co team will be attending, so you can come say hi!

Trans youth will no longer be prescribed puberty blockers

Following the delayed opening of replacement services for the Tavistock gender identity clinic (the only gender-identity service currently in the UK permanently closed its doors at the end of March), NHS England delivered another new blow to gender-affirming healthcare: trans youth will no longer be prescribed puberty blockers.

For many young trans people, this medicine has long been a lifeline for preventing puberty-related changes in the body; puberty blockers can delay menstruation, voice changes, breast growth and the growth of facial hair. NHS England has since confirmed that puberty blockers will only be available for trans young people in the UK as part of clinical research trials. Alongside the five-year waitlist for an NHS first appointment, this is another example of how the government are devastatingly failing trans youth in the UK.

UK's medical regulator apologises for striking off gay doctors before 1966

The General Medical Council has issued a formal apology for doctors who were investigated or sanctioned as a result of convictions from the previous legislation criminalising male homosexuality. Before homosexuality was decriminalised in 1967, the council estimates around 40 medical practitioners were investigated and issued a formal warning, while at least eight were struck off the register - and banned from ever practising medicine again.

The apology came in the middle of LGBT+ History Month , where this year’s theme celebrated queer peoples’ historic contribution to the field of medicine and healthcare. Organisations representing LGBTQ+ doctors and dentists have welcomed the apology and said it was an important step in righting the wrongs of the past.

Think we’ve missed some big LGBTQ+ news from February and March?

Reach out and let us know! You can contact the Rainbow & Co team by filling out our contact form online or emailing Even if you just fancy a natter, we’d love to hear from you.

Image of Tilly, a smiling woman with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Tilly Brogan

Tilly is a queer Freelance Copywriter based in Manchester. She balances her time between working  with LGBTQ+ organisations and women’s rights charities - and people watching in various Manchester cafes. She is also a proud lesbian. You can read more of her work here.

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