Blog and News

Here you will find updates from the community and the work the forum is doing

Section 28

This History month we are focussing on a different part of our community's history each week to raise awareness of the events that shaped us.

This week we look briefly into Section 28.

Warning! This post contains sensitive content that some may find distressing. It has been pulled together for educational purposes so that we never forget what happened in the past, and how it shaped the present.

If you feel you need any support please feel free to get in touch and we can signpost you to a team that can help.

What was section 28?

Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 banned the ‘promotion’ or teaching of homosexuality’ by Local Authorities, and all services run by them including Schools, calling it “a pretended family relationship”.

The existence of the legislation had devastating effects that sadly can still be felt today, despite it having been repealed for over 20 years!


What affect did it have?

It deprived generations of LGBTQ+ pupils from seeing others like them, lead to the closure of many LGBT support groups, and created a culture of fear among teachers.
Teachers could not include same-sex topics in their curriculum, meaning young people were not supported to form good and safe habits growing up.

Without the inclusion of these topics people grew up without any foundation or support for discovering who they were. It led to people not understanding what a healthy same-sex relationship looked like, an increase in unsafe sex practices, and a huge increase in homophobia all over the country.
Positive depictions of LGBT life were completely wiped out in schools

Homophobic attitudes spread, spurred on by the Government of the time calling homosexuality a disease. The legislation was defended as not trying to stop homosexuality but preventing it from being “thrust upon Children”. Tabloids and churches further fuelled the incorrect notion that to be gay meant you were a threat.

Violence and hatred towards LGBT people became so ingrained into British Culture that even now, 20 years after its repeal members of the LGBTQ+ community still often fear how they will be treated if they come out.

We also still see some parent groups actively protesting against schools teaching LGBTQ+ content, with the mistaken notion that it is sexualising their children, rather than providing them the foundation to understand the real world.


Why do we need to know about it?

Thankfully in 2003 section 28 was repealed (2000 in Scotland)!

Great strides have been made, by equally great people, to reverse the damage it caused, increasing awareness in schools and workplaces, as well as increasing access to support materials.

People now have the awareness, and confidence, to call people out if the term Gay is used as an insult in school playgrounds. Gay representation in the media has moved more and more toward being normalised, with stories exploring people’s journeys, further helping those going through similar situations to see it’s natural to feel the way they do.

There are now protections against discrimination, and schools have once again started to teach about different family dynamics. In Northamptonshire we also have the I’m still me conference, each year, that brings representatives from schools across the county to share their learning and build key skills to support LGBTQ+ students.

Remembering section 28 (or learning about it for the first time) will help make you aware of its impact and the long-lasting consequences. Knowing about its impact on society will help you understand why it’s important that pupils are supported to understand and respect differences between people, and to receive the right support when they start to discover who they are as an individual.
Finally it highlights why it’s so important for those in power to be held to account with what they publicly say about the LGBTQ+ community.

While there’s still much more to do, with anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes still very prevalent in society, we are much further than we were 20 years ago.


03/11/23 - Comments from the Councillor

It is with sadness that we report the Wellingborough councillor who tweeted Pride is a Sin and then doubled down without apology for his targeting of the LGBTQ+ community has been reinstated as a councillor by the Local Conservative group.

It is frustrating that the Conservative party have chosen to allow a precedent for homophobia within local politics and we know there will be a lot of emotion going around.

Please do reach out if you're needing someone to talk to, or looking for any support. While we're working on building social groups and other support resources in North Northamptonshire, there are still plenty of organisations there for you to talk to.

If you can we would encourage you to write to the leader of the council to share your experiences and show why this is a mistake.

30/06/23 - Comments from the Councillor yesterday

Many of you may have seen the unacceptable comments made by a certain councillor from the Wellingboough area yesterday on Twitter or in the Northants Telegraph.

What can we say? we are horribly disappointed that anyone, let alone a councillor who is meant to represent people within their community, could come out with comments like these.

It is a sad fact that in 2023 ignorance and hate is still present. I am, however, happy to say that North Northamptonshire Council are working with us closely to ensure the right outcome is met, and they reassure us that this view does not represent that of the council.

I know it can be frustrating to hear vague and generic comments but I ask us all to have a little more patience, and trust that the right decisions will be made.

We will update as and when we learn more from the leadership teams within the council

15/06/23 - Corby Pride & Hate crime reporting

Wow what can i say!

For those of you who managed to attend Corby's first ever Pride event I say thank you. A lot of effort was put in, with multiple partners to plan this event and it was so worth it!

There were over 1000 people who visited on the day showing their support which is absolutely mind blowing for a first ever Pride event.
With Partners ranging from Qspace, Youth works, and even us at our little information stall, there was something for everyone.

The acts themselves were amazing, and I hope you all had a chance to have a dance and enjoy the sun.
This won't be the last Pride Corby sees, and i'm so so proud that we helped them get their first one off the ground.

I also wanted this month to touch upon reporting hate crime. It's something a lot of us avoid because what's going to change? The police don't do anything anyway so what's the point?

Well we've been working with Northants Police recently to help bring them more awareness of what the community faces, how it feels to still be overlooked in 2023, or worse targeted!
There's still much more for us to do as this is never a quick fix, we want to make sure that we work together toward meaningful change.
That being said we're already seeing a big shift in attitude and change.

Sadly I had to report a hate incident myself this week but i was so blown away with how Northants police handled the situation. The equality questions weren't archaic as these things usually are and actually reflected the modern terminology we expect. They came across as taking the situation seriously and asked throughout the process what result I wanted to see.

If there's one thing i've learnt in the last few months working to support change in the police that i would share it is this:
Even if you don't think anything will come from it please do report any hate incident. It may not be a direct crime but your report may be the straw that breaks the camel's back (sorry camel!). It could be that first bit of evidence against someone, or it could be the last bit needed to press charges. Each report helps to build the bigger picture so action can be taken.

~ Aaron ~

07/03/23 - Funds raised for the community

We are so vert grateful for everyone who took part in our Coffee and Cake events across LGBT+ History month.

With the support of partner organisations, and other friends across the county we raised £600 to go direct to local groups and organisations that support the LGBTQ+ community.

We will publish the details of the organisations we're supporting as soon as we've made contact with all of them to let them know. There will be 5 in total as we simply couldn't choose between those that were brought to the table.

Thank you to everyone who got involved; whether that was baking, donating, or even colouring in the packs we gave out to the libraries.
Your support will go a long way to help our community.

15/02/23 - LGBT+ History Month

February is LGBT+ History month and we've been very busy working with partners across the system to put on a number of events to promote LGBT+ history and to help make a brighter future.

This month we have piloted the Care Provider specific LGBT+ training in order to take that first step toward bridging the gap in services for older LGBT+ people. We are collecting the responses from the attendees and will be reviewing their feedback soon to make tweaks to the session. It is our hope to launch the full training offer within the next 4 weeks. We will be working closely with Care Providers, the local authorities, and grant funding organisations, to ensure as many organisations can access the training. Only then can we make sure all older LGBT+ people have the services in place that they need, with staff who understand the difficulties and worries faced by the community.

We have worked with a number of organisations to host Coffee and Cake afternoons in order to raise money for local LGBT+ groups and organisations. While the grand total will be revealed at the end of the month I am happy to say that at the half way point we have raised just over £130 already.
We're hoping as more events are being planned for next week we should see that figure rise substantially.
Times are so tough right now for everyone so every penny that gets donated is so incredibly valued. There are groups all across the county who are trying to make safe spaces for the LGBT+ community and we are committed to helping them wherever we can.

Our local libraries have been doing a cracking job with their displays this month really making sure everyone knows that your local library is there for you. We encourage everyone to go visit and show your support wherever you can.

Forum members have been working hard to get the first Corby Pride event off the ground and so far we're excited by the plans that are coming together.
Planned for Saturday 10th June we do hope you can come along and have a great time.
If you're interested in supporting Corby Pride you can find the expression of interest form on the Corby town council website

Finally, for now, there are a number of events taking place across February for history month, and to remember some remarkable figures who have either been taken far too soon, or who made such an impact on our communities. Please do check out the events page for information, and do let us know if there's something we should be promoting that we don't know about.

You can check out images from history month, and much more, on the History month 23 page. We welcome you sharing images of what you've been getting up to with us so we can help promote as much as possible the community coming together.

28/12/22 - Considering the future

In 2023 we will be looking to plug a number of gaps in services that we've identified across the county.

We are hoping to launch our LGBT+ awareness training that's specific to Care Providers in February. This will aim to support these settings to create an environment where people feel comfortable to be themselves and can access the support they need.

We are starting work to set up an all-ages LGBT+ support group for people to have those difficult conversations around Mental Health, find social support with one another, and to find other support where needed.

We will also be making a big push on our Safe Spaces project which looks to promote safe, LGBT+ friendly, spaces across the county so everyone knows they are welcome.

If you want to support in any way please get in touch:

21/09/2022 - Bringing colour to Kettering

Recently we have been attending a series of events in Kettering Town Centre called: Street Food Saturdays.

Our involvement there was to bring some colour and fun to the event, and we did that in spades!

Our latest visit to the event saw a giant piece of community artwork be made by our tiny residents and we have titled it: Kettering through the eyes of children.

With luck you should see it in the town centre very soon, proudly displayed for all to see.

While also here we spread the word of what the forum is trying to achieve. We had a lot of interest from various people and a number browsing through the resources we had on display.

Lift someone out of loneliness

Feeling lonely is something that all of us can experience at any point and it can have a huge impact on our wellbeing. It’s important to remember that these feelings can pass and that there are lots of ways we can help each other too.


Fancy a cuppa? Fancy a walk? Sometimes reaching out to each other with as little as three words can make a big difference.

Find out how you can help to lift someone out of loneliness. 

04/06/2022 - Platinum Jubilee

On Saturday 4th June 2022 the North Northants LGBT+ Forum brought a bit of colour to the Jubilee pageant held in the Queen's honour in Northampton Town.

We went down to represent our community in North Northants and help spread the cheer. It was so heart warming to see so many people cheering for the jubilee, but also the number of people who took out their phones to snap us with our Progress flag, and the Trans flag.

Hopefully we managed to reach even just a few people, if not we definitely brought a smile to people's faces.

It's so important for us to represent our community so those who may feel isolated know there's a wider family out there for them.

If you have any pics from the Jubilee, or of any Pride event you're going to in June, add the hashtag: #NN_LGBT