2017 Guide to LGBT and HIV Awareness Days
Awareness Days are a great way to call attention issues the LGBT community faces. As a local activist, planning an educational event or demonstration on one of these days is a great way to get the word out about your event or action and even raise the visibility and effectiveness of your event. Consider how these LGBT and HIV/AIDS awareness days intersect with the work you are doing at the local level and how you can use them as tools to highlight and strengthen your local work.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) is an HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative for Blacks in the United States and across the Diaspora. There are five specific focal points: Get Educated, Get Tested, Get Involved, Get Treated, and Get Talking.
National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is an annual observance that takes place on April 10. The first ever National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day took place on April 10, 2015.
Today’s young people are the first generation who have never known a world without HIV and AIDS. In the United States, one in four new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24. Every month 1,000 young people are infected with HIV and over 76,400 young people are currently living with HIV across the country. While there has been much talk about an AIDS-Free Generation, we know that is not possible without our nation’s youth. Young people and their allies are determined to end this epidemic once and for all and this day is a way to acknowledge the great work young people are already engaging in to do so.
National Day of Silence
April (Date TBD), 2017
The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. From the first-ever Day of Silence at the University of Virginia in 1996, to the organizing efforts in over 8,000 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the country in 2008, its textured history reflects its diversity in both numbers and reach.
International Family Equality Day
May 7th, 2017
Regardless of different legal, political and social circumstances around the world, the dramatic increase in the numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people choosing to raise children is a global phenomenon. International Family Equality Day is designed to to increase the international visibility of LGBTQ families.
May 17th, 2017
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (marked on May 17) was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policy makers, opinion leaders, social movements, the media, and the public in general to these issues, and to promote a world of tolerance, respect and freedom regardless of people’s sexual orientations or gender identities.
As much as May 17 is a day against violence and oppression, it is also a day to promote freedom, diversity and acceptance. The date of May 17 was chosen to commemorate the decision taken by the World Health organization in 1990 to take homosexuality out of the list of mental disorders.
May 19th, 2017
One of the key achievements of the Banyan Tree Project to date is the establishment of National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on May 19th. This day is officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The first National Awareness Day was held in 2005. Each year, this day is commemorated with events around the country designed to promote the Banyan Tree Project goals. On this day, organizations around the country dedicated to providing HIV/AIDS services to A&PIs host events in their communities to raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS-related stigma.
September 18th, 2017
National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness day focuses on the challenging issues facing the aging population with regards to HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment. In addition, there is an increased need for prevention, research, and data targeting the aging population, medical understanding of the aging process and its impact on HIV/AIDS.
September 23rd, 2017
Celebrate Bisexuality Day is observed worldwide on September 23rd by members of the bisexual community and their supporters. The day, which is celebrated annually, is a call for the bisexual community, their friends and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexuality, bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and the bi- and pansexual people in their lives.
First observed in 1999, Celebrate Bisexuality Day is the brainchild of three United States bisexual rights activists: Wendy Curry, Michael Page, and Gigi Raven Wilbur. 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.
September 27th, 2017
National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed every year on September 27th. In 2008 the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) Launched this observance to recognize the disproportionate impact of the epidemic on gay men. While NAPWA no longer exists as an organization, the observance continues.
For more information about gay, bi, and trans (GBT) Men, visit www.davidmariner.com/men
LGBT History Month
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 our extraordinary national and international contributions.
National Coming Out Day
October 11th, 2017
Every year on National Coming Out Day, we celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally.
NCOD marks the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, and reminds us that in the fight for LGBTQ equality one of our most basic and important tools is the power of coming out.
Coming out still matters. When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law.
October 15th, 2017
The last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, October 15th, has been designated as National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD).
In 2003, NLAAD was established in response to the impact of HIV and AIDS on Hispanic/Latino communities nationwide, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. NLAAD is a national community mobilization and social marketing campaign that unites the Hispanic/Latino community in efforts to raise HIV awareness, promotion of HIV testing, prevention and education.
National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day has demonstrated to be a successful AIDS Awareness Day. NLAAD has solidified support from 450 partners who together, organized 350 events in 45 states across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
October 16th, 2017
Millions go purple on Spirit Day in a stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Observed annually since 2010, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, and public figures wear purple, which symbolizes ‘spirit’ on the rainbow flag.
TBD October, 2017
Asexual Awareness Week is an international week organized by the Asexual Awareness Week (AWW) organisation to help increase people’s understanding of the sexualities and romantic spectrum that fall under the ‘Ace Umbrella’. These can include asexual, aromantic, demisexual, and grey-asexual among them. It is designed to help promote understanding of what these sexualities are and the current issues people face. Asexual Awareness Week typically takes places towards the end of October.
National LGBT Community Center Awareness Day
October 19th, 2017
Centers continue to build, unite, and empower the LGBT community by offering services including; social services, mental health counseling, cultural programs, recreational activities, libraries, educational programs, support groups, youth support, elder support, computer access, and care and treatment (just to name a few).
Created by CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Center Awareness Day is an annual day of awareness promoting the vital services offered by community centers and the central role they play in local communities.
October 26th, 2017
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.
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.
November 20th, 2017
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose was murdered on November 28th, 1998. Her murder, like many anti-transgender murder cases, remains unsolved.
December 1st, 2017
World AIDS Day is celebrated around the world on December 1st each year. It has become one of the most recognized international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories, such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.
UNAIDS took the lead on campaigning for World AIDS Day from its creation until 2004. From 2004 onwards the World AIDS Campaign’s Global Steering Committee began selecting a theme for World AIDS Day in consultation with civil society, organisations and government agencies involved in the AIDS response.
Themes run for one or two years and are not just specific to World AIDS Day. Campaigning slogans such as ‘Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise’ have been used year-round to hold governments accountable for their HIV and AIDS related commitments.
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
December 17th, 2017
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is observed annually on December 17 by sex workers, their advocates, friends, families and allies. Originally conceived as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle Washington, United States (US), it has evolved into an annual international event. The day calls attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers worldwide, as well as the need to remove the social stigma and discrimination that have contributed to violence against sex workers and indifference from the communities they are part of.