It’s October. Bisexual Awareness Day was last month. We’re smack in the middle of LGBT History month, and we just had National Coming Out Day. The holiday season is just around the corner. So it seems like as good a time as any to look at the rest of the LGBTQ-related “holidays” and awareness days.
Get out your calendars and get ready to highlight any LGBTQ “holidays” you want to observe.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, is a day to remember all the victims of the Nazi era – including the gay men killed in concentration camps.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed each year on February 7, to increase HIV education, testing, treatment, and involvement in African-American communities.
Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week takes place the week following Valentine’s Day. Aromantics are people who do not experience romantic attraction. During the week, LGBTQ groups worldwide hold events to raise awareness of aromanticism and show support for people on the aromantic spectrum.
National GLBT Health Awareness Week is a nationwide event, sponsored by the National Coalition for LGBT Health, during the last week of March that promotes the health and wellness needs of the LGBTQ community.
International Transgender Day of Visibility, held each year on March 31, is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. Transgender activist Rachel Crandall founded the event in 2009.
Day of Silence, held on April 17, is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s annual day to protest the bullying of LGBT students and their supporters. The day-long vow of silence represents the silencing of LGBT students and their allies.
Lesbian Visibility Day, on April 26, celebrates, recognizes, and raises the visibility of lesbians. The National Coalition for LGBT Health first organized it.
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, observed on May 17 to raise awareness of anti-LGBT violence and repression worldwide.
Harvey Milk Day began in 2010. It honors the assassinated politician and LGBT rights activist on his birthday, May 22. It’s officially celebrated in Milk’s home state, California.
While Pride celebrations occur year-round, June is celebrated as LGBT Pride Month in honor of the Stonewall riots, which started on June 28, 1969. June is also the month that same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States.
The Pulse Night of Remembrance commemorates the loss of 49 people in the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016.
Created by Adam Steward in 2009 and celebrated on July 16, International Drag Day to give drag artists a chance to showcase their creativity and contributions to gay culture.
Bisexuals and their supporters observe Celebrate Bisexuality Day on September 23, as a day to recognize and celebrate bisexuality, bisexual history, community, and culture.
LGBT History Month was first celebrated in October 1994. President Barack Obama declared it a national history month in 2009. The month is intended to encourage openness and education about LGBT history and rights.
National Coming Day is an LGBTQ awareness day observed on October 11 and encourages LGBTQ people to come out to the people in their lives as a form of personal political activism.
On October 12, 1998, University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard died after being beaten, tortured, and left today near Laramie, Wyoming four days earlier. Shepard’s attackers targeted him for robbery as a gay man and pretended to be gay to lure him. Shepard’s death set off a wave of protests across the country and ultimately led to the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Shepard was interred at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC in October 2018.
International Pronouns Day is held on October 17. The day “seeks to make asking, sharing, and respecting personal pronouns commonplace.” This was the inaugural year for this “holiday.”
Spirit Day occurs on the third Thursday in October. Started in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan, and promoted by GLAAD, it was created in response to a series of bullying-related suicides of gay students like Tyler Clementi. Observers wear purple as a sign of support for LGBTQ youth.
Asexuality Awareness Week varies from year to year and occurs between October 20 and 26. The international campaign seeks to educate about asexual, aromantic, demisexual, and grey-asexual experiences.
Intersex Awareness Day commemorates the first intersex protest on held on October 26, 1996, outside the American Academy of Pediatrics national conference in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s an international day of grass-roots action to end shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital cosmetic surgeries on intersex children.
Intersex Day of Remembrance, on November 8, marks the birthday of French intersex memoirist Herculine Barbin. The internationally observed awareness day is intended to draw attention to issues faced by intersex people.
Transgender Awareness Week typically occurs in the second week in November and celebrates and educates about transgender and gender non-conforming people.
Transgender Day of Remembrance occurs on November 20, memorializes those murdered as a result of transphobia, and brings attention to continued violence against transgender people. Memorials typically include a reading of the names of those killed in the past year.
World AIDS Day takes place on December 1. Recognized by the United Nations in 1988, the day is observed to raise awareness of the HIV-AIDS pandemic, and memorialize those lost to the disease.
Have we missed something? If so, let us know and we’ll add it to the list.