LGBT+ History Month celebrated with launch of poem anthology
Published: 20 Feb 2020
A celebration of LGBT+ History took place at the Trestle Arts Base this week, with the launch of an anthology of poems about gender, identity and diversity, with Hertfordshire County Council’s YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People.
The theme of this year’s LGBT+ History Month is poetry, prose and plays. A book of poems was put together following National Lottery funded workshops and with the poet Dean Atta. Copies will be sent to schools in Hertfordshire in order to promote discussion around identity, gender and diversity.
Speaking at the launch of the event, poet Dean Atta said: “We didn’t have books like this when I was younger. This anthology will give hope and young people will be able to see themselves reflected back.”
Other speakers at the event included Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Inspector Steven Alison, Chair of the Constabulary’s LGBT+ Network, Hate Crime Officer PC Teresa Holden, artist Vedi Roy and young people who attend some of the YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People LGBT+ projects across the county.
The event was attended by more than 70 young people, who also had an opportunity to take part in workshops which further explored gender and identity.
The Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, Cllr Teresa Heritage said: “This collection of poems is invaluable in promoting more discussion around gender, sexuality and identity. In ensuring that schools in Hertfordshire have a copy, we hope that more young people will feel supported.”
Inspector Steve Alison, Chair of the Constabulary’s LGBT+ Network said: “The event was very inspiring. Being different is not a crime but being victimised because of it is. We do all we can to tackle homophobia, transphobia and biphobia and anyone who does experience this should never hesitate to get in touch and report it. As well as hate crime officers, we have LGBT+ Liaison Officers who can also offer support. When you report a crime, you can ask to speak to an LGBT+ Officer and this will be arranged for you.”