The annual calendar is filled with days when the LGBTQ community gathers to raise awareness, challenge discrimination and hatred, and celebrate important milestones. These LGBTQ dates are extremely important to remind us of the aggression the community faces and has been facing for decades, but it’s also a day of festivities and happiness as we celebrate a specific event/milestone.
In particular, October is quite a significant month. It’s the LGBT History month, and there are many other LGBTQ dates in October -- such as International Lesbians Day, National Coming Out Day, and International Pronoun Day. Read on to find out more about each important LGBTQ date!
What Is the LGBT History Month?
Every year in some countries, for the entire month of October, the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender is observed, and the people commemorate history of LGBT rights and history related to the civil rights movement.
The purpose of the month is to strengthen the community, establish role models, and delineate a civil rights statement about the LGBTQ+ community’s contribution to building the society.
As of this year, it has been decided that LGBT History Month will be a month long celebration in countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hungary, Greenland, Brazil, and the city of Berlin.
In the US, LGBTQ+ History Month originated as Lesbian and Gay History Month. It was celebrated for the very first time in October 1994. Rodney Wilson, a high-school history teacher from Missouri founded this in 1994. He was the first openly gay public school teacher in the state, came up with the concept, acted as found on the first committee, and selected the month of celebration to be October. With this, he hopes to encourage openness and honesty about being LGBT.
Reason was to align the plans of the month with the National Coming Out Day which falls on 11 October. The first march of Washington in 1979 and the second in 1987 for LGBT rights are also important topics of this month. The LGBT History Month gained support of the National Education Association in 1995.
Although it was first titled as Lesbian and Gay History month, “bisexual” was added to the title soon by the coordinating committee. Since then it’s been known and the LGBTQ+ History Month.
Equality Forum began choosing 31 LGBTQ icons from all around the globe through every era of history in 1996. On every day of the month, one icon was highlighted.
Two American school districts observed LGBT History Month in 2012 – the first event of its kind. In September, the Broadway County school district in Florida showed their support for LGBT Americans by signing a resolution, and the Los Angeles school district followed suit.
October 8 – International Lesbian Day
October 8 is a day for the powerful females who love the ladies! A day dedicated to every single lesbian out there, from the movement leaders to the butches and femmes (or anything you identify with, really!), October 8 has so much significance in the LGBTQ+ dictionary, but it’s still overlooked for the most part.
For starters, it’s believed that a group of 40 lesbians had a march in Wellington Park, New Zealand on March 8, 1980, which is also the International Women’s Day. Exactly six months after that date, on the 8 of October, International Lesbian is celebrated.
New Zealand’s lesbian community went along with the date, and thus it became the D-day through the world. The Lesbian Health Strategy was launched by ACON, a LGBTQ+ Australian community health organization in 2008 with a view to ensuring wellbeing of the local lesbians.
This day exists to recognize lesbian individuals without any judgment. If that isn’t reason enough to celebrate this incredible day, we don’t know what is!
October 11 - National Coming Out Day
2020 will see the LGBTQ+ community of USA celebrate the 32nd National Coming Out Day. There’s always been a lot of “stigma” associated with the term of coming out, but this date was founded to remind people that coming out simply implies coming to acceptance with your true self, and being unapologetically candid with the world about it. It stands to challenge the homophobia thriving in the shushes and hushes.
A gay rights activist, Jean O’Leary and psychologist, Richard Eichberg founded Coming Out Day in 1988 to raise awareness about the LGBT community and the associated civil rights movement.
October 11 was chosen as the final date to commemorate the anniversary of the second
National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The day is celebrated throughout the U.S., and despite the term “National” being in the name, it’s also welcomed in various parts of the world.
There are meaningful themes every year. It was set to “Coming Out Still Matters” in 2013 and 2014. The day is of immense value and a beacon of light for the people who struggle to live their true identity, or hadn’t/had received the warmth they expected when they came out.
October 20 - International Pronoun Day
International Pronouns Day wishes to normalize sharing, respecting, and education about desired personal pronouns.
If you think about it, there shouldn’t really be any dissolution about this, as it’s fundamental to human dignity to be referred to by the pronouns people decide for themselves. Referring to someone with the wrong pronouns has a negative effect on trans and non-binary folks.
You might not realize it, but normalizing the matter of asking someone about their pronouns before addressing them opens up a world of possibilities for both parties. The other person, your family, friends, co-workers, classmates, anyone in the community, will now feel much more comfortable sharing their entire selves with you, assured that you have their back.
In a world where the LGBTQ+ community is still struggling to establish itself, a basic matter
like the correct usage of pronouns can go a long way. It’s a form of confirming that we seem them, and we support them.
At the end of the day, the fight is to prove that everyone should be free to live life the way they want, love whom they want, and choose genders they want. So let’s come together and raise our voices for the community of a million colors and celebrate each other’s singularity.