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. LGBT History Month provides role models, builds community, and makes the civil rights statement about the LGBT Communities’ extraordinary national and international contributions. Currently, LGBT History Month is a month-long celebration that is specific to the United States, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, it is celebrated in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11. In the United Kingdom, it is observed during February, to coincide with a major celebration of the 2003 abolition of Section 28. In Berlin, it is known as Queer History Month. Other LGBT-progressive countries, however, celebrate LGBT History with much shorter events.
In 1994, Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history, and gathered other teachers and community leaders. They selected October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), occur that month.
Gay and Lesbian History Month was endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association, and other national organizations. In 2006, Equality Forum assumed responsibility for providing content, promotion and resources for LGBT History Month.
The International Day of Non-Violence is marked on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.
According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.
“There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Learn more about the day on the UN Website.
The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. The Day is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.
Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
“Investing in girls is a moral imperative – a matter of basic justice and equality.” – Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General
National Coming Out Day is a celebration of coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally. In 1988, October 11, the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, National Coming Out Day was first observed as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out. One out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. For transgender people, that number is only one in 10.
Learn more about National Coming Out Day
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. It is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October, and is an official city and state holiday in various localities, including California. It began as a counter celebration held on the same day as the U.S. federal holiday of Columbus Day which honors Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. Many reject celebrating him, saying that he represents “the violent history of the colonization in the Western Hemisphere”, and that Columbus Day is a sanitation or covering-up of Christopher Columbus’ actions such as enslaving Native Americans.
An international celebration of conflict resolution – held annually the third Thursday in October. Conflict Resolution Day was conceived in 2005 by Association for Conflict Resolution to:
• Promote awareness of mediation, arbitration, conciliation and other creative, peaceful means of resolving conflict;
• Promote the use of conflict resolution in schools, families, businesses, communities, governments and the legal system;
• Recognize the significant contributions of (peaceful) conflict resolvers; and
• Obtain national synergy by having celebrations happen across the country and around the world on the same day.
November 13 is an international observance of World Kindness Day – a day to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us. Kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition which bridges the divides of race religion, politics, gender and zip codes.
Today is a great day to practise a Random Act of Kindness!
In 1996, the UN General Assembly (by resolution 51/95) invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November, with activities directed towards both educational establishments and the wider public.
This action followed on the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 at the initiative ofUNESCO, as outlined in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up Plan of Action for the Year.
The 2005 World Summit Outcome document (A/RES/60/1) furthered the commitment of Heads of State and Government to advance human welfare, freedom and progress everywhere, as well as to encourage tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples.
“On this International Day of Tolerance, I call on all people and governments to actively combat fear, hatred and extremism with dialogue, understanding and mutual respect. Let us advance against the forces of division and unite for our shared future.” – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Learn more about the Day for Tolerance on the UN Website
The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), also known as the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, is observed annually on November 20 as a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to draw attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman, to memorialize the murder of transgender woman Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. Since its inception, TDoR has been held annually on November 20, and it 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.
For more information on this day, see GLAAD’s website.
Nov 25 is the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today.
According to a 2016 UN study, 19 per cent of women between 15 and 49 years of age said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to the survey. In the most extreme cases, such violence can lead to death. In 2012, almost half of all women who were victims of intentional homicide worldwide were killed by an intimate partner or family member, compared to 6 per cent of male victims.
Native American Heritage Day recognizes the native American heritage, history and contributions. It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States. In 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto), to designate the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day.
Native Americans are the descendants of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people who were the original inhabitants of the United States. American Indian Heritage Day aims to highlight the relationship between the United States government and the Native American governments, as well as honor the achievements and contributions of Native Americans to the US.
Native Americans have made distinct and significant contributions to the United States and the rest of the world in many fields, including agriculture, medicine, music, language, and art. Throughout history, Native Americans have distinguished themselves as inventors, entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders, as well as scholars.