Notable LGBTQ+ Awareness Events

List of worldwide coming events relating to sexual diversity

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 lines of religion, ethnicity, race, and sexuality. This includes a recognition that we are a diverse community 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, and said, “I call upon the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.”

Sexual Diversity Events for: 2020 — 2021 — 2022 has compiled a list of important LGBT awareness dates below:

Jan. 27 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Started 2005)

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is an international memorial day 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.

Feb. – 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” which are 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.

Feb. – LGBT History Month (UK) (Started 2005)

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, to include 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 31 – International Transgender Day of Visibility (Started 2009)

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.

Last week of March – LGBT Health Awareness Week (Started 2003)

With the intention of raising public awareness regarding unique health needs and disparities in the LGBT community, the National Coalition for LGBT Health created LGBT Health Awareness Week. The mission is to create positive action and educate the pubic. Along with many organizations who choose to partner with the National Coalition for LGBT Health, they use that week to address the need for culturally competent healthcare and bring attention to behavioural health inequities by reaching out to healthcare professionals, LGBTQ+ individuals, policy makers, and the general public with information and ideas for change.

April – Day of Silence (Started 1996)

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 symbolically 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 16 – Honor our LGBT Elders Day (Started 2015)

Honor our LGBT Elders Day was established by Baltimore’s Chase Brexton Health Services with the intention of recognizing and appreciating the older LGBT generation for a lifetime of contributions. As the LGBT community continues to make important gains, it is valuable to reflect on the struggles and victories that came before. Meant to unite the community as a whole, it is also a good time to consider the challenges facing LGBT seniors who require care. Often due to a lack of cultural competency seniors find themselves faced with a choice between going back in the closet or suffering discrimination. Honor our LGBT Elders Day is a reminder to continue the tradition of courage and authenticity. Not only for future generations but for the ones that came before.

May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia

May 17, or the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO or IDAHOT or IDAHOBiT), as it is widely recognised, 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 original founders of the International Day Against Homophobia (or “IDAHO”), established the IDAHO Committee to co-ordinate grass-roots actions in different countries, to promote the day and to lobby for official recognition of May 17.

May 22 – Harvey Milk Day (Started 2010)

Harvey Milk Day is organized by the Harvey Milk Foundation and celebrated each year held 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 24 – Pansexual and Panoramic Visibility Day (International)

Validation is often a positive life-changer for people who are not mainstream. Pansexual and Panoramic Visibility Day hopes to validate and accept by bringing awareness to the public and by reaching out to individuals who want to feel understood. Pansexual is being attracted to people regardless of gender identity or birth sex. Panromantic is being romantically attracted (not necessarily sexually attracted) to people regardless of gender identity or birth sex. It is similar to being bisexual, but differs in that being bisexual is to be attracted to your own gender as well as other genders, while being pansexual or panromantic (pan being a root word meaning “all”) means gender isn’t a factor in your attractions.

June – Pride Month

June 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 throughout the world. Pride has lent its name to LGBT-themed organizations, institutes, foundations, book titles, periodicals and even a cable TV station and the Pride Library. According to the top ten best gay pride events are: 1. Sydney Mardi Gras 2. Amsterdam’s Canal Parade 3. Berlin Pride 4. Buenos Aires gay pride event 5. San Francisco Pride Celebration 6. London’s Pride Festival 7. New York City Pride 8. Madrid Pride 9. Montreal 10. Pensacola Memorial Day Weekend.

June 27 – 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 widely considered to constitute the single most important event 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. The last years of the 1960s, however, 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.

July 14 – International Non-Binary People’s Day

The date for International Non-Binary People’s Day, July 14, was chosen because it falls exactly between International Women’s Day and International Men’s Day. And though non-binary people don’t generally fall exactly between identifying as a woman or man, more accurately their identity does not conform to the male/female gender binary, it is still an appropriate calendar date. The day is set aside to  support non-binary people as well as raise awareness of the issues that directly affect them. When asked why non-binary people’s awareness day was important to them in an interview for GayTimes, Lui Asquith replied: “Visibility! Having a day that provides non-binary people with an unapologetic and celebratory platform is crucial to not only uplift the community, but to also provide wider society the opportunity to learn about the wonderful array of non-binary experiences.”

Sept. 23 – Celebrate Bisexuality Day (Started 1999)

This celebration of bisexuality in particular, as opposed to general LGBT events, was conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of the 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 also has grown in strength but in many ways we are still invisible. 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.”

Oct. – LGBT History Month (USA) (Started 1994)

LGBT History Month originated in the United States and was first celebrated in 1994. It was founded by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson. Among early supporters and members of the first coordinating committee were 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 8 – International Lesbian Day (dates back to 1980)

The origins of International Lesbian Day can be traced back to activism in Australia and New Zealand, but the precise history is murky. It is generally accepted that the first celebration was on March 8th 1980 as a group of 40 lesbians marched through Wellington Park, New Zealand on International Women’s Day. Throughout New Zealand and Australia International Lesbian Day was celebrated in a variety of ways on different days until eventually October 8th was settled on, significantly because it lands six months after International Women’s Day. The day is meant to celebrate lesbian culture and diversity, to promote lesbian visibility, around the world.

Oct. 11 – National Coming Out Day (Started 1998)

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual civil awareness day internationally observed on October 11 to recognize members of the LGBTQ+ community. The process of 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.

Oct. 16 – Spirit Day (Started 2010)

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. On this day people wear the color purple to show support for 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.

Oct 20 – Oct 26 – Asexuality Awareness Week (Started 2010)

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.

3rd Wednesday of October – International Pronouns Day (Started 2018)

International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting and sharing our personal pronouns commonplace. Though it is an international awareness day, it is recognized that not all languages gender in ways that make this issue urgent or relevant and the campaign is largely rooted in the needs of English-language communities. According to organizers of International Pronoun Day: “Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.”

Oct. 26 – Intersex Awareness Day (Started 1996)

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 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.

1st Sunday in November – TransParent Day (started 2009)

TransParent day was established in 2009 in order to celebrate parents who are transgender, in lieu of traditional Mother’s and Father’s day. Over time it has evolved into a celebration and recognition of the love between transgender parents and their children as well as the love of transgender children and their parents. The day typically involves gift-giving and other acknowledgements of gratitude.

Nov. 8 – 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 in 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”.

Nov. 20 – Transgender Day of Remembrance (Started 1999)

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, 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 (Started 1987)

Red AIDS awareness ribbonWorld 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 around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.

As of 2013, AIDS has killed more than 36 million people worldwide (1981-2012), and an estimated 35.3 million people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history.

Dec. 17 – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (Started 2003)

Sex workers, allies, and advocates in cities around the world unite on Dec. 17 to call attention to hate crimes comminted against sex workers. The awareness day began as a vigil for victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle Washington and has since grown, empowering people internationally to organize against discrimination. According to the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP): “The majority of violence against sex workers is not just violence against sex works—it’s also violence against transwomen, against women of color, against drug users, against immigrants. We cannot end the marginalization and victimization of all sex workers without also fighting trans-phobia, racism, stigma and criminalization of drug use, and xenophobia.”