Awareness Days and Holidays are a great way of creating more visibility of and also gaining more support for the different parts of the LGBTQ+ community. The biggest event in the calendar for most is the annual Pride event where we celebrate the influence of LGBTQ+ people and the sacrifice those who came before us have made. It is not only a celebration, but a chance for the community and their allies to peacefully protest and raise outstanding political and societal issues still facing the LGBTQ+ community today.
Popular LGBTQ+ Holidays and Awareness Days by month
There are many different days of awareness and celebration covering the whole spectrum and running throughout the 12 months of the year. The following list some of the most popular.
January: International Holocaust Remmebrence Day
An international remembrance day held on January 27th to commemorate all the victims of the holocaust. The day marks the genocide of over 6 million jews, a million gypsies, a quarter million mentally and physically handicapped and up to 9000 gay men by the Nazis.
March: International Transgender Day of Visibility
A relative newcomer to the list of awareness days is the International Transgender Day of Visibility which is marked each year on March 31st. First celebrated in 2009 by Michigan trans activist, Rachel Crandall in response to the lack of LQBTQ holidays celebrating transgender people. This holiday is for celebrating transgender people as well as raising awareness and protesting the descrimination faced by the trans community.
April: Day of Silence
What started as a movement in schools in 1996 to protest the harassment and bullying (silencing) of LGBTQ youth has now spread to colleges, university campuses and even sporting events. Every year, millions of participants will stay silent to represent the silencing of LGBTQ youth and their allies and supporters. Whilst the day is marked in April, the exact date changes. In 2023 it will be held on April 14th.
May: Harvey Milk Day
Organized by the Harvey Milk Foundation and taking place each year on May 22nd Milk’s birthday), the day celebrates and honors Harvey Milk, the gay rights activist who was assassinated in 1978. He was not just an advocate and force for change for the LGBTQ community but for all minorities. This official holiday was signed into law in California in 2009.
June: LGBTQ Pride Month
June is the official month of Pride, celebrating the Stonewall Riots in NYC during June 1969 which led to the gay liberation movement and the start of gay rights.. Pride events take place all year long though most are held in June all around the world. June also marks the month same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S.A. Although discrimination and injustice still remain against the LGBTQ+ community, much progress has been made since 1969. Celebrating Pride is a continuation of the need to improve awareness of LGBTQ rights and to encourage and improve inclusiveness throughout society.
July: International Drag Day
Started in 2009 by Adam Stewart, International Drag Day is to celebrate Drag Artista everywhere. In particular it marks everything that Drag artists have contributed to gay life and culture.
October: LBGTQ+ History Month
Although started in 1994, the LGBTQ+ History Month was officially designated a national history month by President Obama in 2009. It was created to encourage openness and awareness of LGBTQ rights. It is observed in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11th.
November: Transgender Day of Remembrance
On November 20th each year we honor, commemorate and memorialize those who have been killed through hate crimes as a result of transphobia. It is intended to raise attention to the continued violence and intolerance suffered by those in the trans community. Since its inception in 1998 it has spread to observance in over 20 countries.
Check your local groups and organizations for initiatives taking place in your state to commemorate and celebrate LGBTQ+ rights and activism. Be a good advocate and ally and do your part for equal rights for all. Check our crossdressing tips blog for updates of such activities coming to the tristate area.