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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Augustana chapter.

Every October since 1994, the U.S. has observed October as LGBTQIA+ history month. This annual celebration focuses on the struggle for rights and visibility that the community faces, as well as the contributions of LGBTQ+ people to society as a whole.

October also contains many smaller LGBTQ+ pride events and days of awareness. A list of these (along with a brief overview) is seen below.

October 8 ~ International Lesbian Day

International Lesbian Day is meant to celebrate anyone and everyone who identifies as… well, a lesbian! A lesbian is often defined as a woman or girl who experiences same-sex attraction, but the term can also be used by nonbinary and gender-queer people who experience attraction to women. Started in 2008 in Spain, it has become an international day of recognition for the visibility and awareness of issues that the lesbian community faces. 

October 11 ~ National Coming Out Day

NCOD is an annual occurrence in the U.S., first celebrated in 1988 to promote awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. Its primary focus is to celebrate “coming out,” or the process through which LGBTQ+ individuals may share their identities with others or simply grow into accepting themselves.

October 20 ~ International Pronoun Day

International Pronoun Day is the third Wednesday of October, and is meant to promote inclusivity and respect towards individuals’ chosen pronouns and gender identities. It’s vital to learn about and correctly use pronouns, as they can be an extremely important part of many people’s identities and misusing them can be harmful and discriminatory. 

October 21 ~ Spirit Day

Spirit Day occurs annually on the third Thursday of October since it was founded in 2010. Many people wear purple to raise awareness about bullying and harassment faced by many LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly youth, and promote love and support for the community.

October 24-31 ~ Asexual Awareness Week

Observed the last week of October, Asexual Awareness Week aims to increase visibility of the asexual spectrum as a legitimate sexual identity. Often called the invisible orientation, asexual or “ace” individuals (who experience little to no sexual attraction) face a lot of erasure, and Ace Awareness week is intended to educate and spread acceptance and awareness. 

October 26 ~ Intersex Awareness Day

Intersex Awareness day is an annual celebration to raise awareness for the existence of and discrimination against Intersex people. According to Planned Parenthood, “Intersex is a general term used for a variety of situations in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the boxes of “female” or “male”” (What is Intersex?). Intersex day is meant to advocate for Intersex rights and bodily autonomy through education and acceptance.

No matter your gender or sexuality, please be respectful and make sure to listen and learn this LGBTQ+ history month. Thank you for being you!

References/Additional Research :

“LGBTQ Calendar: Awareness, visibility and remembrance days in 2023”. Pride Space, 2023. https://pridespace.org/lgbtq-calendar-awareness-visibility-and-remembrance-days-in-2023/

“What is Intersex?”. Planned Parenthood, 2023. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/gender-identity/sex-gender-identity/whats-intersex

Kaitlin Troha

Augustana '26

Hi! My name is Kaitlin, and I’m a sophomore at Augustana College. I graduated from Wheaton North High School in 2022. I’ve declared a major in environmental science and a minor in Spanish, but I’m still exploring other options like WGSS. Outside of class, I like to rollerblade (which I have yet to attempt on campus), spend time with my friends, listen to music and read from my ever-growing collection of books, both at home and in the library. I also participate in HerCampus Augustana, Sierra Club, and hope to seek out more extracurricular opportunities as I balance my work and school schedules. I’ve been writing for student publications since middle school, so I’ve covered a wide range of topics over the years. My preferred writing topics include books (reviews, new publications, recommendations… everything!), environmental and social activism, and so much more!