Established back in 2005, LGBT+ History Month is an annual, month-long event intended as a means to raise awareness of, and combat prejudice against the LGBTQ+ community, while also celebrating its achievement and diversity. The event came in the wake of the abolition of Section 28 in 2003, and it has been running ever since.
This year’s theme is ‘Under The Scope’, celebrating LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to the field of Medicine and Healthcare, but there are so many fantastic things to do honouring every aspect of queer life.
From must-see exhibitions to stand-out events and things to do, here’s a rundown of ten places in our beloved capital where you can learn more about LGBTQ+ history for LGBT+ History Month this year:
1. Read up on the charity Queer Britain and visit their fantastic museum
Queer Britain is a charity that was established back in 2018 as a means to establish the UK’s first national LGBTQ+ museum to celebrate both LGBTQ+ history and culture and talk about queer peoples’ stories and experiences. That said museum, the Queer Britain Museum, opened back in 2022 and it joins the ranks of London’s free museums in offering a thoughtful, educational day out – without tugging on the purse strings. The museum is celebratory, representative, and informative – it allows the country’s queer communities to find a record of their past, and allows them to look to their future.
The award-winning ‘We Are Queer Britain!’ exhibition is definitely worth a visit. The exhibition, which arrived shortly after the museum’s opening, marks the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first Pride March. It’s described as ‘a diverse and rich array of artefacts that culminates voices, objects and images from the worlds of activism, art, culture and social history covering over 100 years of queer life‘.
📍You’ll find the Queer Britain Museum at 2 Granary Square, London, N1C 4BH.
🚇 Nearest station is King’s Cross St. Pancras.
2. Follow the ‘desire, love and identity’ trail at the British Museum
Another place worth checking out this LGBT+ History Month the British Museum, London’s biggest, oldest and arguably most popular museum. Plus it’s mostly all free, so if January has been tough on the old wallet, then there’s no excuse not to visit!
The ‘Desire, love and identity’ trail highlights 15 different objects that have a connection with LGBTQ+ history, and following the route will only take around an hour. Objects on show here include The Warren Cup – a Roman wine glass showing two intertwined male lovers that was banned from being displayed for most of the 20th century – and the Ain Sakhri Lovers statue – believed to be the world’s oldest sculpture of two lovers.
The genders of the figures are unclear and are completely open to interpretation. The display is free and runs all year-round.
📍You’ll find the British Museum at Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG.
🚇 Nearest stations are Russell Square and Goodge Street.
3. Pay a visit to the Gay’s The Word bookshop in Bloomsbury
Selling incredible books and also promoting human rights – you know what they say, get you a bookshop that can do both. Well, they don’t actually say that. But if they did, they’d surely be talking about Gay’s The Word, the iconic London bookshop in Bloomsbury that’s been at the heart of the capital’s LGBTQ+ rights movement since opening on January 17th, 1979.
As the only dedicated LGBTQ+ bookshop in England, it was quickly established as an influential space for members of the community to meet, support each other and campaign, overcoming lots of opposition in the process.
‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ held their first meetings in Gay’s The Word before outgrowing the space, with the group and bookshop immortalised in the film Pride. A blue plaque commemorating the group’s co-founder and noted gay rights activist, Mark Ashton, can be found above the shop. If you’re peckish afterwards, then why not make your way to Fork Deli – one of our favourite delis which is just down the road.
📍You’ll find Gay’s The Word at 66 Marchmont Street, London, WC1N 1AB.
🚇 Nearest station is Russell Square.
4. Learn about queer maritime history at the National Maritime Museum
If you ever find yourself in the UNESCO-listed borough of Greenwich, then the National Maritime Museum is always a great place to visit. And, like the British Museum – it’s also free. To celebrate LGBT+ History Month, they’re running a full day of creative workshops, storytelling, live performances and more on February 17 called ‘Out At Sea’, which is a festival completely dedicated to queer maritime history.
The Royal Museums of Greenwich are not stopping there. Enjoy a special tour and talk at the National Maritime Museum entitled Queer History Night: Cruising the National Maritime Museum. Or if you’re looking for something extra fabulous, be sure to check out ‘Fierce Queens’ – which brings together performers and historians for an unforgettable night of queer liberation and LGBTQ+ representation at Queen’s House. Click here for more information.
📍You’ll find the National Maritime Museum at Romney Road, London, SE10 9NF.
🚇 Nearest stations are Greenwich, Cutty Sark and Maze Hill.
5. Grab a pint or two at the LGBTQ+ institution, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern
Speaking of Vauxhall, this one is a must on this list of things to do for LGBT+ History Month. The haunt of celebrities (including Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury!), drag queens, and the great and good of the LGBTQ+ community, the rich and storied history of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern is a colourful tale, woven into the very fabric of London’s nightlife.
In fact, it’s so revered that in 2015, it became the first building in the UK to gain Grade II-listed status on the basis of its importance to the wider LGBTQ+ community. Its role as a nightlife hub began after World War Two when the first drag shows took to the stage, and it’s south London’s oldest surviving LGBTQ+ venue.
Since then, it’s become a pillar among the wider community and offers some of the best and liveliest nights out in the capital.
📍You’ll find the Royal Vauxhall Tavern at 372 Kennington Lane, London, SE11 5HY.
🚇 Nearest station is Vauxhall.
6. Go for a wander around the library of the Bishopsgate Institute
Situated right across the road from Liverpool Street Station and close to the hubbub of the Old Spitalfields Market, the Bishopsgate Institute has been a hub for culture and learning since it first opened its doors on New Year’s Day back in 1895.
It’s got a whole section dedicated to LGBTQ+ history, with specific areas given over to organisations including the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive, which contains around 250,000 press cuttings chronicling the queer experience since the late 19th-century. It’s also home to the Museum of Transology, the first collection of its kind featuring the world’s biggest collection of objects representing trans lives.
They’ve also got a whole host of events going on throughout February for LGBT+ History Month, including specialised tours of their unbeatable LGBTQ+ archive.
📍You’ll find the Bishopsgate Institute at 230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4QH.
🚇 Nearest station is Liverpool Street.
7. Enjoy at night out at Soho’s iconic Admiral Duncan pub
The friendly Admiral Duncan is an LGBTQ+ institution situated right in the heart of Soho. It’s been open since 1832 and has been a stalwart of the Soho gay scene since then. Attracting a regular crowd, this one-room pub has regular karaoke, cabaret and drag nights as well as a tiny, little dance floor – perfect for throwing a few shapes after some bevvies!
Tragically, in April 1999, it was the target of a neo-Nazi nail bomb attack which killed three people and injured more than 70. Showcasing the true strength of the LGBTQ+’s community spirit, the pub reopened just weeks later and they have a chandelier commemorating those that sadly died saying “we shall never forget our friends”. It’s a great spot to both learn about both LGBT+ History Month and have a few pints with some mates.
📍You’ll find the Admiral Duncan at 54 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4UD.
🚇 Nearest station is Piccadilly Circus.
8. Take the ‘Seeing Things Queerly’ trail at our beloved Science Museum
Our iconic Science Museum is known for its masterful exhibitions and ground-breaking immersion. However, they provide a unique way to honour and celebrate LGBT+ History Month. Pay a visit this month and take on their self-led trail to discover a plethora of objects that tell stories of queer communities, experiences, and identities, rightfully titled ‘Seeing Things Queerly’.
From witnessing a WWII fighter jet flown and a touching story about a transgender pilot to learning all about Alan Turing, who created the world’s first general-purpose computer, there are so many LGBTQ+ stories to be unearthed at this adored museum. For more information on the trail, click here.
📍You’ll find the Science Museum at Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, SW7 2DD
🚇 Nearest station is South Kensington
9. Join an LBGTQ+ Tour at the prestigious Tate Britain
Another free museum here – winner, winner! Every fortnight at Tate Britain a new, unique LGBTQ+ tour is on offer. The tours are led by volunteer guides with lived experience in the works and themes they are discussing. And they don’t merely touch on contemporary works. Tours explore a wide variety of works, both from Tate Britain’s historic collection (works from 1540-1910) and the contemporary collection (1930-present day).
As you wander round the gallery, you’ll be able to ‘discover the narratives of those less visible in Tate’s collection through the lens of gender identity and sexuality‘ – sounds pretty intriguing to us! You can find out more about the tours here.
📍You’ll find the Tate Britain at Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG.
🚇 Nearest station is Pimlico.
10. Discover the queerness in nature at Chelsea Physic Garden
Founded back in 1973, Chelsea Physic Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe nestled right along the River Thames. The gardens are celebrating diversity both in people and plants, with a host of events and things to do this February entitled A Dash of Lavender: Celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month.
There’s an especially curated garden trail, an exhibition, and a programme of events throughout the month. There’s even a Botanical Poetry Reading and ‘Unnatural Selection’ Comedy Night if you’re looking to socialise and mingle with like-minded folks!
📍You’ll find the Chelsea Physic Garden at 66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, SW3 4HS
🚇 Nearest station is Sloane Square
11. Take the LGBTQIA+ Tour of the iconic Tate Modern
We mentioned the sister location earlier, and now it’s time for the big one. The Tate Modern will be hosting three guided tours of their collection from a queer perspective, exploring the brutalist icon through the lenses of gender identity and sexuality.
They also have a fantastic digital queer exhibition with contributions from art institutions around the world. You can view the exhibition online by clicking here.
📍You’ll find the Tate Modern Bankside on the Thames, SE1 9TG
🚇 Nearest station is London Blackfriars
12. Walk the city’s queer history with the Museum of London
Throughout LGBT+ History Month, the Museum of London will be providing insightful walking tours of the city, uncovering stories previously hidden from the narrative. From queer hardships and struggles to love and romance, learn all there is to know about London life as a queer person throughout history.
Tour highlights include stopping off at the Royal Exchange, learning about the queerness in Roman Londinium, and so much more. It’s worth noting that the Museum of London is currently closed but the tours must go on, with their new museum opening in 2026.
📍You’ll find the Museum of London at 150 London Wall, Barbican, EC2Y 5HN
🚇 Nearest station is Barbican or St. Pauls
13. Enjoy a special screening of ‘Firebird’ at The London Art Bar
Pay a visit to The London Art Bar in Holborn this February for a special screening of ‘Firebird’ (2021) in celebration of LGBT+ History Month! The London Art Bar is a wine and cocktail bar that’s hosting this special event to support the Albert Kennedy Trust, a charity dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ people facing homelessness.
This poignant film tells a powerful love story against the backdrop of a Soviet Air Force base, exploring themes of identity, resilience, and the human spirit. ‘Firebird’ has been screened at film festivals across the globe, winning several accolades. Click here to get your tickets for this special screening taking place on February 25.
📍You’ll find The London Art Bar at 300-302 High Holborn, WC1V 7QR
🚇 Nearest station is Chancery Lane or Holborn
14. Book your tickets for BFI: Flare, London’s renowned LGBTQIA+ Film Festival
Although not happening during LGBT+ History Month, BFI are planning another fantastic year of queer cinema with their annual film festival, BFI: Flare. The festival is taking place from 13-24 March with tickets available now for unmissable screenings, insightful talks, plus so much more. Click here for more information.
15. Check out the other official events, talks, and tours on the LGBT+ History Month website
There’s so much going on across the country when it comes to celebrating LGBT+ History Month, and London is brimming with so many fantastic things to do. Keep an eye out on the official LGBT+ History Month website for even more interesting events happening across London, and beyond.
Another fantastic way to honour the month is by donating directly to charities that help LGBTQ+ people directly. We mentioned the Albert Kennedy Trust earlier, but we also recommend Stonewall, Mermaids, or researching for causes that matter to you.
So there you have it – a roundup of the best places to learn about LGBT+ History Month this February. Whether you’re exploring museums or having a pint in some of the city’s most established LGBTQ+ pubs, there’s something for everyone here!