Publish date: 1 February 2024

Today marks the start of LGBTQ History Month.

To celebrate, Craig Ballantyne, Co-Chair of the LGBTQ+ Staff Network at West London NHS Trust, has written a message reflecting on this year's theme 'Medicine #UnderTheScope'.

Craig says: "LGBTQ History Month, observed each February in the UK, is a crucial time to recognise and celebrate the often-overlooked history and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community.

"This year, we delve into the theme "Medicine #UnderTheScope," inviting us to explore the intricate relationship between LGBTQ+ identities and the medical field.

"This theme underscores the profound impact and contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals within healthcare, including the outstanding LGBTQ+ staff in our trust who serve in diverse roles. Their resilience, dedication, and steadfast commitment to advocating for equality for all are genuinely commendable.

"Medicine #UnderTheScope" also brings to light the ongoing discrimination and inequalities faced by LGBTQ+ people in healthcare settings. This aspect of the theme underscores the continuing struggle for equality and the need for sustained advocacy and change. We are reminded of the importance of an inclusive, respectful, and equitable healthcare system for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

"As we observe this month, let's commit to not only remembering our past but also to focusing on the work still needed. Together, we can continue our journey towards a more inclusive and understanding society, celebrating and supporting the diverse contributions of our LGBTQ+ staff."