celebrations & observances


International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27)

The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish, 1 million Romani, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, and 9,000 homosexual men killed in the Holocaust by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. The UN also urges the development of educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

Source: https://www.ushmm.org/remember/international-holocaust-remembrance-day


National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (February 7)

February 7 is National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), which was first observed in 1999. This observance is a day to acknowledge how HIV disproportionately affects Black people.  Black communities have made great progress in reducing HIV. Yet racism, discrimination, and mistrust in the health care system may affect whether Black people seek or receive HIV prevention services. These issues may also reduce the likelihood of engaging in HIV treatment and care. NBHAAD is an opportunity to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement, and treatment among Black communities.

Source: https://www.hiv.gov/events/awareness-days/black/

Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week (Mid-February)

Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week (ASAW) is a week meant to spread awareness and acceptance of aromantic spectrum identities and the issues they face, as well as a chance for the community to celebrate their own experiences and existence. ASAW generally occurs the first full week (starting Sunday) following Valentine’s Day; it began in large part as a way for those in the aromantic community who had difficulty finding space for their experiences in such a universally romanticized event to come together and celebrate their own unique experiences. 

Source: http://www.arospecweek.org/about-asaw/


Bisexual Health Awareness Month

Bisexual+ Health Awareness Month, led annually by the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC), raises awareness about the bisexual+ (bi, pansexual, fluid, queer, etc.) community’s social, economic, and health disparities; advocates for resources; and inspires actions to improve bi+ people’s well-being.

Source: https://bihealthmonth.org/

Zero Discrimination Day (March 1)

Zero Discrimination Day is a celebration of the right of everyone to live a full and productive life-- and live it with dignity. It highlights how people can become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, above all, a movement for change.

It was first celebrated in 2014 by UNAIDS, which is a UN program that highlights how the decriminalisation of key populations and people living with HIV saves lives and helps advance the end of the AIDS pandemic.

Source: https://www.unaids.org/en/zero-discrimination-day

National LGBT Health Awareness Week (Late March)

National LGBTQ Awareness Week is intended to help the healthcare community advocate for reducing barriers to LGBTQ persons by creating and maintaining safe, inclusive and welcoming environments—and ensuring quality, accessible and non-discriminatory health care. This is especially important due to the recent introduction of new anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country. 

Source: https://healthlgbtq.org/awareness-week/

International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31)

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 LGBTQIA+ 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.

Source: https://www.cod.edu/student_life/resources/lgbtq/awareness.aspx 


Day of Silence (April 23)

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 (LGBTQIA+) students and their supporters. Students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBTQIA+ students and their supporters.

The Day of Silence was first organized in 1996 by a group of students at the University of Virginia. In 2001, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) became the official organizational sponsor with new funding, staff and volunteers. Although GLSEN supports students’ efforts to organize Day of Silence activities in their schools, DOS is still very much a student-­led event.

Source: https://gsafewi.org/resources/frequently-asked-questions-about-day-of-silence/

Lesbian Visibility Week (Late April)

Lesbian Visibility Week aims to show solidarity with all LGBTQI women and non-binary people, as well as celebrate lesbians. Lesbian Visibility Week is about using your voice for unity and lifting up all women, especially those who come from marginalized communities.  

Source: https://www.lesbianvisibilityweek.com/


International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (May 17)

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia was created in 2004 to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

The Day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders, local authorities, etc. to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

Source: https://may17.org/about/ 

Agender Pride Day (May 19)

To be agender means to not identify as any particular gender. The agender identity falls under the nonbinary umbrella and (sometimes) the transgender umbrella. This day is to celebrate all those who are agender and what it means to them. 

Source: https://www.grlgbtqhealthcareconsortium.org/significantdates/agender-pride-day 

Harvey Milk Day (May 22)

Harvey Milk was an activist, organizer, and the first openly gay man elected to public office in the country as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the late 1970s. Milk organized against discrimination of gay and lesbian business owners in the city, fought against discrimination in schools, and was responsible for gay rights ordinances in San Francisco before he was assassinated on November 27, 1978. Harvey Milk Day is celebrated every year on his birthday, May 22nd. 

Source: https://gsanetwork.org/resources/harvey-milk-day/

Pansexual and Panromantic Awareness Day (May 24)

May 24 marks Pansexual Visibility Day — a day for to uplift, elevate and celebrate those who identify as pansexual. Pansexual people can often have their identity be erased by people not taking their identity seriously, and/or assuming they are either gay or straight. This is why it's essential to make sure that we uplift the voices of pan people.

Some people use pansexual as the sole term to describe their sexuality, while others use pan in addition to other words. It is also often considered part of the overall bisexual+ community and can be used alongside a number of other terms in this family such as “bi,” “queer” or “fluid.”

Source: https://www.hrc.org/news/hrc-staff-celebrate-pansexual-visibility-day-2020 


Pride Month! (All of June)

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. 

The first Pride march in New York City was held on June 28, 1970, on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. This was meant to give the community a chance to gather together to "...commemorate the Christopher Street Uprisings of last summer in which thousands of homosexuals went to the streets to demonstrate against centuries of abuse ... from government hostility to employment and housing discrimination, Mafia control of Gay bars, and anti-Homosexual laws". By all estimates, there were three to five thousand marchers at the inaugural Pride in New York City, and today marchers in New York City number in the millions. Since 1970, LGBTQ+ people have continued to gather together in June to march with Pride and demonstrate for equal rights.

Source: https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/

HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day (June 5)

First observed in 2014, HIV Long-Term Survivors Day is a day to honor long-term survivors of HIV and raise awareness about their needs, issues, and journeys. Today, HIV Long-Term Survivors (HLTS) represent a diverse group of people diagnosed with HIV before the advent of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy or HAART in 1996. They make up about 25% of all people living with HIV and AIDS.

The selection of June 5 for this annual observance coincides with the anniversary of the first official reporting of what became known as the AIDS epidemic on June 5, 1981. When the CDC first reported on five cases of a mysterious disease affecting young gay men. June 5, 1981 is considered the start of the AIDS pandemic.

Source: https://www.hiv.gov/events/awareness-days/hiv-long-term-survivors-day/

Pulse Night of Remembrance (June 12)

On June 12, 2016, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida was holding its annual Latin Night – a weekly celebration of Latin music and culture. The event was attended by hundreds of Hispanic and Latinx people and their friends, predominantly members of the LGBTQ+ community. At about 2 am, there were still more than 300 people inside Pulse, enjoying the music and drinks. Over the next several hours, the shooter killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 others. 

The Pulse shooting is still the most significant single act of violence against the LGBTQ+ community in the US. And, as the community moves forward and heals from this tragedy, the Pulse Night of Remembrance gives us space to grieve and honor those who are no longer with us. 

Source: https://www.sfgmc.org/blog/pulse-night-of-remembrance

Stonewall Uprising Anniversary (June 27)

The Stonewall Uprising started on June 28th and took place over six days at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Stonewall Inn was one of the most popular gay bars in New York City. Throughout the state, same-sex relationships were criminal, resulting in many gay bars operating outside the law, being owned by the mafia, and running without a liquor license. It was this combination of factors that led to frequent raids on gay bars throughout New York City. Stonewall was raided roughly once a month leading up to the uprising. 

Many people consider Stonewall to be a major turning point for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. It cannot be argued however, that the Stonewall Uprising directly led to the first Pride Parade, which took place on the one year anniversary of the Uprising in 1970.

While the events of Stonewall are often referred to as "riots," Stonewall veterans have explicitly stated that they prefer the term Stonewall uprising or rebellion. The reference to these events as riots was initially used by police to justify their use of force. 

Source: https://guides.loc.gov/lgbtq-studies/stonewall-era


Non-Binary People's Day & Non-Binary Awareness Week (July 14 and the Week of July 14)

July 14 is Non-Binary People's Day, a day recognized around the world as an occasion to celebrate non-binary people and the rich diversity of the community. The term "non-binary" refers to someone who does not does not exclusively identify as a man or a woman. While many cultures may reinforce the notion that gender exists as a strict binary, non-binary people show that knowing one's self and identity is a powerful thing that no one can strip away. 

The week surrounding July 14th is Non-Binary Awareness Week, celebrated to shining a light on non-binary people and the unique issues that they face. 

Source: https://www.hrc.org/news/celebrating-the-diversity-of-the-non-binary-community-for-international-non

International Drag Day (July 16)

International Drag Day, observed annually on July 16th, is a vibrant celebration dedicated to honoring the artistry of drag performance. During the 1960s and 1970s, drag culture underwent a profound transformation, propelled by the rise of LGBTQ+ rights movements and the historical events of the Stonewall Riots. Drag queens emerged as prominent figures during this era, actively engaging in protests and embodying symbols of resilience and defiance. Their visibility became a powerful testament to the fight for equality and the pursuit of social change. Today, International Drag Day celebrates the artistry, creativity, and cultural impact of drag. It embraces the distinct expressions of drag kings and drags queens, challenging societal norms and fostering inclusivity.

Source: https://www.sfgmc.org/blog/drag-day


Bisexual Awareness Week & Bisexuality+ Day               (September 16-22, September 23

Bisexual Awareness week is a week that seeks to accelerate acceptance of the bi+ community. Those that fall under the bisexual umbrella include, but are not limited to bisexuals, pansexuals, omnisexuals, polysexuals, people with fluid sexualities, those that have no label, and those that identify as queer. Bisexual people face discrimination from both straight communities and from within the LGBTQ+ community, making them much less likely to come out.  Bi Week draws attention to the experiences, while also celebrating the resiliency of, the bisexual+ community. 

Source: https://guides.library.unt.edu/LGBTQ/biweek


LGBTQ+ History Month (All October)

Each year, the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are celebrated in October. This month was chosen in particular to coincide with existing traditions in October, such as National Coming Out Day on October 11th. 

Source: https://www.library.cmu.edu/about/news/2020-10/lgbt-history-month

International Lesbian Day (October 8)

International Lesbian Day is a day for lesbians all over the world to come together to celebrate lesbian history, diversity, and culture. The day gives an opportunity for lesbians to connect, celebrate, and also raise awareness about specific issues that the community face. In recent years, lesbians have encouraged the community to get together and show support by donating to charities supporting lesbian causes. 

Source: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/international_lesbian_day2

National Coming Out Day is an annual celebration that has taken place every year since 1988. It was first celebrated as the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in honor of the LGBTQ+ individuals who decided to come out and live openly on that day. 

Coming out is a unique experience for each LGBTQ+ person. Many individuals have to come out several different times: to co-workers, to classmates, to their family, to their friends, etc. For some, coming out is not a big deal. For others, it is a huge challenge. The fear of discrimination, bullying and judgement is very real and something that a lot of people deal with. Talking about coming out and sharing our stories can help to strengthen the community and provide people with the support they need to come out and live as their true selves. 

Source: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/about-us/news/why-do-we-need-national-coming-out-day

International Pronouns Day (Third Wednesday in October)

International Pronouns Day seeks to make asking, sharing, and respecting personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity, but many transgender and gender-nonconforming people are regularly called by the wrong pronouns, which fuels marginalization, invisibility, and violence. Calling someone by their pronouns positively impacts people's mental health, shows that you are trustworthy, and can even lead to reduced suicide rates. International Pronouns Day seeks to take one small yet important step to build awareness and action about the protective and positive outcomes of using pronouns that individuals determine for themselves

Source: https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2018/10/17/why-we-created-international-pronouns-day 

Spirit Day (Third Thursday in October)

Spirit Day is the world's most visible anti-bullying movement. This day encourages LGBTQ+ youth, especially trans and non-binary youth, to live their lives in their truth and authenticity. On this day, people wear purple in order to show their support for LGBTQ youth. With the anti-LGBTQ backlash that is growing, America's youth are now are particularly at risk and are in much need of support. Spirit Day gives LGBTQ youth, their parents and allies an opportunity to see what’s possible when we lead with acceptance.

Source: https://glaad.org/spiritday/

Intersex Awareness Day (October 26)

Intersex Awareness Day was created via a grassroots effort in 2003 and 2004 to raise awareness around the Intersex community. It was started to give a very small community a sense of belonging and a way to share their story with people who were interested in hearing about it. The date was picked to honor October 26, 1996, when intersex activists demonstrated outside the American Academy of Pediatrics' 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.

Source: https://intersexday.org/en/origin-intersex-awareness-day/

Ace Week (Last full week of October)

Ace Week is an annual event that puts asexuality in the spotlight. It's part celebration of the progress that has been made, and part campaign of increasing the understanding and acceptance of ace-spectrum identities. While the ace community has gained a lot of acceptance and visibility over the years, there is still a lot to be done. Ace identities are often overlooked or misunderstood, causing barriers to equality and acceptance. In spite of this, aces all over the world participate in Ace Week by creating educational resources, sharing information on social media, and organizing community events. These global initiatives serve to raise awareness, spread information, and spark discussion about ace identities. More and more people discover ace communities each year, and with them, find acceptance, comfort, and joy.

Ace refers to all identities that fit under the asexual spectrum. 

Source: https://aceweek.org/stories/about-ace-week


Trans Parent Day (First Sunday in November)

First established in 2009, Trans Parent Day is celebrated every year on the first Sunday in November as a day to celebrate life and the love between transgender parents and their children and transgender children and their parents.

Source: https://arcuslgbt.com/2020/11/01/trans-parent-day/ 

Intersex Day of Remembrance & Solidarity Day (November 8)

Intersex Day of Remembrance is a day that focuses on the difficult topics surrounding intersex people, such as genital mutilation, the drawbacks of a rigid binary gender system, and sexism within that system. It emphasizes advancing intersex human rights. 

November 8th was chosen as it was the birthday of Herculine Barbin, a French intersex person who lived from 1838 to 1868, whose memoir and life made them an icon of intersex history. The two week period between Intersex Day of Awareness and Intersex Day of Remembrance are considered a time to pay particular focus towards intersex issues. 

Source: https://www.therainbowstores.com/blogs/blogs-guides/intersex-awareness-day-and-intersex-day-of-remembrance

Transgender Awareness Week (November 13-19)

Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20)

Transgender Awareness Week is the week leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and is a week to educate about transgender and gender non-conforming people, and the issues associated with their transition and/or identity. TDOR is a day to memorialize all those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and related hatred/fear of those who act outside of traditional gender norms. It also acts to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community. 

Source: https://www.cod.edu/student_life/resources/lgbtq/awareness.aspx 


World AlDS Day (December 1)

World AIDS Day is a global movement to unite people in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Since 1988, communities have stood together on World AIDS Day to show strength and solidarity against HIV stigma and to remember lives lost. Medical advances mean that many of those with HIV can expect to live a long and happy life. However, HIV continues to be highly stigmatized and misunderstood. This day exists to shine a light on the experiences of those living with HIV and celebrates the resilience and diversity of those communities that are most affected. 

Source: https://worldaidsday.org/about/