Notable LGBTQ Awareness Dates and Events
Published: 2016-08-20 - Updated: 2022-07-05
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: LGBT and Disability Publications
Synopsis: List of important LGBTQ community awareness remembrance dates and coming events with respect to sexual orientation, gender identity, transgenderism, transsexualism, and intersexuality. In June 2011, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. We are a diverse community concerning sexual orientation, gender identity, transgenderism, transsexualism, and intersexuality.
- LGBTQ is an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning. These terms are used to describe a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
In the past, sexual diversity within the population was less apparent and visible than it is today. Over time, society has become much more tolerant and accepting of the differences between people, along with religion, ethnicity, race, and sexuality. This includes recognizing that we are a diverse community concerning sexual orientation, gender identity, transgenderism, transsexualism, and intersexuality.
In June 2011, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month and said:
"I call upon the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people."
Important LGBTQA+ Awareness Events and Dates
January 27th - International Holocaust Remembrance Day
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial on 27 January commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. It commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jews, 1 million Gypsies, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, and 9000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session. The resolution came after a special session was held earlier that year on 24 January 2005, during which the United Nations General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust.
February - Aromantic Awareness Week
Aromantic Awareness Week, also known as Arospec Awareness Week, occurs the week following Valentine's day. An aromantic is someone who does not experience romantic attraction. Where romantic people have an emotional need to be with another person in a romantic relationship, aromantics are often satisfied with friendships and other non-romantic relationships. Aromantics may feel sexual attraction or be on the asexuality spectrum. Being aromantic does not determine sexuality but can impact a person's ability to act on their sexuality. Aromantics may experience "squishes," the aromantic or platonic equivalent of a romantic crush. When an aromatic gets into a relationship that's more than friends - but less than romantic - that is known as a queerplatonic relationship. An alloromantic is someone who does not identify as being on the aromantic spectrum.
February - LGBT History Month (UK)
LGBT History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. It is observed during October in the United States, including National Coming Out Day on October 11. In the United Kingdom, it is observed during February to coincide with a major celebration of the 2005 abolition of Section 28.
March 31st - International Transgender Day of Visibility
International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual holiday occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. The holiday was founded by Michigan-based transgender activist Rachel Crandall in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBT holidays celebrating transgender people, citing the frustration that the only well-known transgender-centered holiday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which mourned the loss of transgender people to hate crimes, but did not acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community.
April - Day of Silence
Day varies from year to year. The Day of Silence is the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) annual day of action to protest the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and their supporters. Students take a day-long vow of silence to represent the silencing of LGBT students and their supporters. The Day of Silence has been held each year in April since 1996. The 2014 Day of Silence was April 11, 2014; the 2013 Day of Silence was April 19; the 2012 Day was April 20; in 2011, it was on April 15. The next Day of Silence will be held on April 17, 2015.
May 22nd - Harvey Milk Day
Harvey Milk Day is organized by the Harvey Milk Foundation and celebrated each year, held on May 22 in memory of Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist assassinated in 1978. In California, Harvey Milk Day is recognized by the state's government as a day of special significance for public schools. The day was established by the California legislature and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009 following the success of the award-winning feature film Milk retracing Milk's life.
May 17th - International Day Against Homophobia
May 17, or the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO or IDAHOT or IDAHOBiT), as it is widely recognized, is an essential feature in the international LGBT rights calendar. In the 9th edition, in 2013, commemorations took place in almost 120 countries in all world regions. The day aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. IDAHO's date was chosen to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990. The founders of the International Day Against Homophobia (or "IDAHO") established the IDAHO Committee to coordinate grass-roots actions in different countries, promote the day, and lobby for official recognition of May 17.
June - Pride Month
une is celebrated as Pride in honor of the Stonewall Riots, though Pride events occur all year round.
Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.
Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBT rights movements worldwide. Pride has lent its name to LGBT-themed organizations, institutes, foundations, book titles, periodicals, and even a cable TV station and the Pride Library.
JAccording to gaytravel.com the top best gay pride events are:
- Sydney Mardi Gras
- Amsterdam's Canal Parade
- Berlin Pride
- Buenos Aires gay pride event
- San Francisco Pride Celebration
- London's Pride Festival
- New York City Pride
- Madrid Pride
- Pensacola Memorial Day Weekend.
June 27th - Stonewall Riots Anniversary
The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are considered the single most important event is leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States. Gay Americans in the 1950s and 1960s faced an anti-homosexual legal system. Early homophile groups in the U.S. sought to prove that gay people could be assimilated into society, and they favored non-confrontational education for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. However, the last years of the 1960s were very contentious, as many social movements were active, including the African American Civil Rights Movement, the Counterculture of the 1960s, and antiwar demonstrations. These influences, along with the liberal environment of Greenwich Village, served as catalysts for the Stonewall riots.
September 23rd - Celebrate Bisexuality Day
This celebration of bisexuality in particular, as opposed to public LGBT events, was conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of bisexual persons by some in both the straight and greater LGBT communities. This day is a call for the bisexual community, their friends, and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexuality, bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and the bisexual people in their lives. First observed in 1999, Celebrate Bisexuality Day is the brainchild of three United States bisexual rights activists: Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida, and Gigi Raven Wilbur of Texas. Wilbur said, "Ever since the Stonewall rebellion, the gay and lesbian community has grown in strength and visibility. The bisexual community has also strengthened, but we are still invisible in many ways. I, too, have been conditioned by society to automatically label a couple walking hand in hand as either straight or gay, depending upon the perceived gender of each person."
October - LGBT History Month (USA)
LGBT History Month originated in the United States and was first celebrated in 1994. Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson founded it. Among early supporters and members of the first coordinating committee was Kevin Jennings of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Kevin Boyer of Gerber/Hart Gay and Lesbian Library and Archives in Chicago; Paul Varnell, writer for the Windy City Times; Torey Wilson, Chicago area teacher; Johnda Boyce, women's studies major at Columbus State University and Jessea Greenman of UC-Berkeley. Many gay and lesbian organizations supported the concept early on. In 1995, the National Education Association indicated support of LGBT History Month as well as other history months by resolution at its General Assembly.
October 11th - National Coming Out Day
National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual civil awareness day internationally observed on October 11 to recognize members of the LGBTQ+ community. Coming out involves self-disclosure of one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity. NCOD was founded in 1988 by Robert Eichberg, a psychologist from New Mexico and founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O'Leary, an openly gay political leader from Los Angeles and then head of the National Gay Rights Advocates. The date of October 11 was chosen because it was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
October 16th - Spirit Day
In early October 2010, Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan promulgated the observance of a new commemoration called Spirit Day, the first observance of which took place on October 20, 2010; it now, however, takes place on October 16. Today, people wear the color purple to support LGBT youth who are victims of bullying. Promoted by GLAAD, many Hollywood celebrities wear purple on this day to show their support of this cause, and many websites add a prominent purple shade to their design.
October 20th - October 26th - Asexuality Awareness Week
Date varies from year to year. Asexual Awareness Week is an international campaign that seeks to educate about asexual, aromantic, demisexual, and grey-asexual experiences and to create materials that are accessible to our community and our allies around the world.
October 26th - Intersex Awareness Day
Intersex Awareness Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day designed to highlight the challenges faced by intersex people. The event marks the first public demonstration by intersex people in North America. On October 26, 1996, intersex activists from the Intersex Society of North America (carrying the sign "Hermaphrodites With Attitude") and allies from Transexual Menace demonstrated in Boston outside the venue where the American Academy of Pediatrics was holding its annual conference. Intersex Awareness Day is an international day of grass-roots action to end shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital cosmetic surgeries on intersex children. Between October 26 and November 8, intersex organizations try to bring attention to the challenges intersex individuals face, culminating in the Intersex Day of Remembrance on the birthday of Herculine Barbin, also sometimes known as Intersex Solidarity Day.
November 8th - Intersex Day of Remembrance
Intersex Day of Remembrance, also known as Intersex Solidarity Day, is an internationally observed civil awareness day designed to highlight issues faced by intersex people. It marks the birthday of Herculine Barbin, a French intersex person whose memoirs were later published by Michel Foucault in Herculine Barbin: Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth-century French Hermaphrodite. While Intersex Awareness Day is celebrated more in English-speaking countries, particularly North America, Intersex Day of Remembrance is marked in Europe. Some countries, such as Australia and South Africa, mark both events and the days between as "14 days of intersex".
November 20th - Transgender Day of Remembrance
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which occurs annually on 20 November, is a day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia or the hatred or fear of transgender and gender non-conforming people and acts to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans woman who is a graphic designer, columnist, and activist, to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. Since its inception, TDoR has been held annually on 20 November and has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action. In 2010, TDoR was observed in over 185 cities throughout more than 20 countries. Typically, a TDoR memorial includes a reading of the names of those who lost their lives during the previous year and may include other actions, such as candlelight vigils, art shows, food drives, film screenings, and marches among others. The TDoR is the culmination of Transgender Awareness Week. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has extensively covered TDoR. GLAAD has interviewed numerous transgender advocates, including actress Candis Cayne, profiled an event at the New York City LGBT Community Center, and discussed media coverage of TDoR.
December 1st - Yearly - World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day was first conceived in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.
Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations, and individuals worldwide observe World Aids Day, often with public educational programs regarding AIDS prevention and control.
In 2016, several HIV and AIDS-related Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa and Global AIDS, began a campaign to rename World AIDS Day to World HIV Day. They claim the change will put more emphasis on current social justice issues, and the advancement of recent new treatments like PrEP.
Thanks to improved access to antiretroviral treatment in many areas of the world, the death rate from AIDS has decreased since its peak in 2005 - from 1 million in 2016 to 1.9 million in 2005. As of 2017, AIDS has killed between 28.9 million and 41.5 million people worldwide, and an estimated 36.7 million people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history - Further information regarding HIV and AIDS.
HIV Means - Human Immunodeficiency Virus
H - Human - This particular virus can only infect human beings.
I - Immunodeficiency - HIV weakens your immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. A "deficient" immune system can't protect you.
V - Virus - A virus can only reproduce itself by taking over a cell in the body of its host.
AIDS Means - Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
A - Acquired - AIDS is not something you inherit from your parents. You acquire AIDS after birth.
I - Immuno - Your body's immune system includes all the organs and cells that work to fight off infection or disease.
D - Deficiency - You get AIDS when your immune system is "deficient," or isn't working the way it should.
S - Syndrome - A syndrome is a collection of symptoms and signs of disease. AIDS is a syndrome rather than a single disease because it is a complex illness with many complications and symptoms.
Republished with permission from SexualDiversity.org
- Awareness Ribbons Chart: Color and Meaning of Awareness Ribbon Causes - List of awareness ribbon colors and associated causes regarding health and disability - Includes printable awareness ribbon chart.
- Awareness Dates: Days - Weeks - Months - List of major awareness dates and commemorative observance days, weeks, and months that focus on health medical and disability research or ethical causes of importance.
- U.N. International Awareness and Commemorative Dates - List of International days of observance established by the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
- List of U.S. Presidential Proclamation Dates - List of annual awareness and observance dates including days, weeks and months, as recognized by U.S. presidential proclamation.
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