Timeline of Major Events in the LGBTIQ+ Community

30 April 1999

Former British National Party member David Copeland bombs the Admiral Duncan, one of Soho’s oldest LGBT bars

The attack killed three and seriously injured around 79 people. The reason Copeland gave for planting the bomb was to create hatred and fear in the country. Following the attack, a meeting took place in Soho Square where thousands attended.
The Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner delivered a speech at the event, marking a turning point in the relationship between the LGBT community and the Metropolitan Police.



A landmark case rules that an employee who was about to transition was wrongfully dismissed. It was the first piece of case law in the world which prevented the discrimination in employment or vocational education against a trans person.


World Health Organisation declassified same-sex attraction as a mental illness

The United Nations agency removed homosexuality from its ICD classification with the publication of ICD-10 in 1992. That said, ICD-10 still carried the construct of “ego-dystonic sexual orientation”. In this condition, the person is not in doubt about his or her sexual preference, but “wishes it were different because of associated psychological and behavioural disorders”.

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4 July 1982

Terrence Higgins (aka Terry Higgins) dies of AIDS in St. Thomas’s Hospital, London. He was one of the first persons to have died due to AIDS in the United Kingdom.


The Sexual Offences Act was updated to amend the law of England and Wales relating to homosexual acts and lead to the decriminalisation of sex between two men on the condition that they were ‘over 21’ and did so ‘in private’.

The act remained criminal if the men did so while on Navy Duty, Duty within the Armed Forces, or were in Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

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Roberta Cowell is the first known British trans woman to undergo reassignment surgery.

Born in Croydon, South London, the engineering student went through a secret procedure in order to get a certificate stating that she was intersex. This act enabled her to undergo gender reassignment surgery and in turn, obtain a new birth certificate.

At the time, debate and justification of intersexuality was focused mainly on chromosomes and genetics rather than gender identity as it is nowadays.

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