On October 8th, the whole world takes a day to celebrate lesbians and their culture. It is called International Lesbian Day. Some say that this annual tradition started in 1980 after a Lesbian Day March; others are convinced that it appeared for the first time in 1990. Despite the lack of accurate information about the formation of this LGBTQ+ holiday, everyone agrees on the importance of it.
Every year on this day lesbians and their supporters all around the world (although the holiday is mostly celebrated in New Zealand and Australia) come together to raise awareness of lesbian visibility to bring up discussions of equal rights.
Besides that, people also gather for entertainment. In the last couple of years, some big companies decided to join. They have been arranging different types of events around this day for the community, showing their solidarity and support.
What can you do on International Lesbian Day?
There are many ways everyone can celebrate International Lesbian Day regardless of where you live. The first thing to say is that this celebration is all-inclusive. There is no rule that you have to be a lesbian to celebrate it – you can be also a lesbian ally and take part in this holiday. It is all about inclusion and embracing equal rights.
The first way to celebrate it is to go to any of the marches, festivals, parades, concerts, or any other types of events that were arranged on October 8th or around this day to celebrate the lesbian community. If you don’t have anything going on in your community, you can try to make an event yourself. It doesn’t mean that you should bring thousands of people together in the local park. It could be something as simple and small as having a picnic with your friends (especially if you have lesbian friends) and discussing important issues for this holiday.
The second must-do on October 8th is educating yourself, your friends, and your family about lesbianism and its herstory. You can gather your friends, bring some snacks, and watch a documentary about this topic. It is important to discuss it after watching it. You can also make annual donations to organizations that support lesbian rights.
These are some options that you can choose. The most important thing that you can do on the day is to give some extra love and support to lesbian friends or family members for their courage, and for finding all that was needed to accept themselves the way they are and cherish it.
Read also: The one and only: “gay gene”
National Coming Out Day
Later in the same month, on October 11th, there is another LGBTQ+ celebration that is called National Coming Out Day. This annual holiday started in the United States in 1988 to celebrate the political activism of feminist and gay people, and to bring awareness to their rights. Now, this holiday gives strength and encourages members of the LGBTQ+ community to “come out of the closet”, to open up to their family and friends.
Now, this holiday gives strength and encourages members of the LGBTQ+ community to “come out of the closet”, to open up to their family and friends.
Read also: How It Started: The First Gay Pride Parade
Why is it important?
There are a few reasons why this holiday is so important:
One reason is that seeing other people coming out and showing their pride on this day gives other LGBTQ+ members the courage to do the same, and accept themselves completely; to be themselves not only when they are alone or with a close group of friends, but all the time.
Another important reason is that there is a theory of how homophobia can still exist. Instead of accepting other people’s choices, homophobic people decide to ignore and deny them. However, when one learns that their family member or close friend is a part of the LGBTQ+ community, there is less chance of that person still ignoring and denying them. When somebody that you love and care about comes out, you will probably reconsider your thoughts about LGBTQ+ people.
What can you do on this day to show your support?
The same as International Lesbian Day, you can take part in a celebration of National Coming Out Day by educating yourself, family, and friends. This time, the topic is broader. Now it’s not only about lesbians, but the entire LGBTQ+ community. The holiday has a long history, starting from the Civil Rights movement, so there is a larger variety of historic documentation. You can focus on different aspects of the topic.
You can also donate to organizations that support LGBTQ+ rights – one of the main ones is the Human Rights Campaign.
Show your support by having an LGBTQ+ symbol on your clothes or accessories. Another option is to have a flag and hang it from your window. Posting the symbol on your social media is also a way to bring awareness.
Once again, personally show your support and love to your family and friends that are members of the LGBTQ+ community who came out to you! If they have not come out to the world yet, you should not push them to do so, but constantly show support and make sure they are comfortable where they are now. By your actions and words, you can make the environment friendlier and help someone to open up.
Lesbian Visibility Day
And at the end we should proud who we are!