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LGBTQIA+ UK News Round-Up: May 2024

And just like that, we’re halfway through 2024! Not only does June bring the much anticipated Pride Month in the UK, but there’s now a general election right around the corner, too… So, before things start getting all panic stations, let’s take a quick breather to look back at what happened within the LGBTQIA+ community in May - AKA, the month when the sun finally realised how to do its job!

Powerful billboards for Trans+ History Week appeared across the UK with the message ‘Always Been Here’

Monday 6 May to Sunday 12 May was the first-ever Trans+ History Week , an event that shone a spotlight on the millennia-old history of transgender, non-binary , gender-diverse and Intersex people. To publicly mark this celebration, a series of billboards appeared in major cities across the UK, including Manchester, Liverpool, London and Newcastle. Following the idea that knowledge of trans history would lead to more trans liberation, organisers wrote the phrase ‘ALWAYS BEEN HERE. ALWAYS WILL BE’ on these billboards to show that transgender people have always existed - and they aren’t going anytime soon.

Read more: 5 Transgender Identities from History That Show Trans People Have Always Existed 

I Kissed a Girl, the new sapphic dating show on BBC Three, was met with resounding success

The first series of “Lesbian Love Island” hit our screens this month as 11 queer single women entered an Italian villa to finally give the UK what we wanted: some great WLW representation! As they tried to find the woman of their dreams, the cast also had lots of great conversations about how they felt about the word lesbian , just who was fem for fem, and of course, did Amy own any other pairs of shoes?

You can watch all episodes of I Kissed a Girl on BBC iPlayer now.

Lesbian bar La Camionera got a permanent venue in Hackney, London

The lesbian bar named after the Spanish word for female trucker (which is also slang for butch lesbians) was first opened in East London earlier this year on a temporary basis. However, after much success with the London LGBTQ+ population, La Camionera become a permanent member of the capital’s queer scene this month. Their new venue in Hackney is the first FLINTA-owned [female, lesbian , intersex, non-binary, trans and agender] LGBTQ+ space in London for more than a decade. 

A YouGov poll showed most Brits think schools should teach children about different gender identities

While the government’s planned new education guidance seeks to ban teachers from teaching students about gender identity and trans issues, it seems the British public has a very different opinion. In a recent YouGov poll, 61% of Brits said they think pupils should be taught they can change their gender identity. 60% of those surveyed also say that students should be taught about non-binary identities. While these numbers still seem quite low, they mark a stark change to the proposed guidance in schools going forward.

New Scottish First Minister John Swinney stated that trans women are women

Hot after replacing Humza Yousaf as First Minister of the Scottish National Party (SNP), John Swinney stated in an interview exactly how he saw the future of trans rights in Scotland . When asked by BBC Radio Scotland, “What is a woman?” Swinney said, “I believe a woman is an adult female born as a woman and I also accept that transgender women are defined as women.”

These comments mark another milestone in Scotland’s fight for trans equality after Nicola Sturgeon previously passed the Gender Recognition Reform bill which allows Scottish trans individuals to gain legal recognition in their correct gender without the need for a medical diagnosis. Some more positive queer news from Scotland? The Lesbian SNP candidate Hannah Bardell married her partner as the month drew to a very queer close. 

Gay Labour councillor used Grindr adverts as part of his recent election campaign

Jon-Connor Lyons was re-elected to Manchester City Council for the Piccadilly ward at the start of May in the country’s local elections. But how did he show he was the right candidate for the job? By creating Grindr adverts for his campaign , of course! With tag lines like “no ghosting, just voting”, “it’ll be tight” and “put him on top,” it’s no surprise that Lyons smashed all the polls. 

New law changes allowed people with HIV to donate eggs or sperm to become parents

New changes in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act now allow those living with HIV with an undetectable viral load - meaning they can’t pass HIV on - to donate eggs or sperm as part of fertility treatment. With informed consent, partners, family, friends and other known recipients can receive donated eggs or sperm and “fulfil their dream of becoming parents”. We think this is absolutely amazing news!

Think there’s any other news from May we should be shouting about?

Get in touch 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 good old chinwag, 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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