LGBTQ+ History Month – October 2021

LGBTQ+ History Month is in October and each year we mark it with spectacular events celebrating the history and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community. When the observance was started, it mainly served as a call to action for the movement and its prosperity. But over the years, LGBTQ+ History Month has evolved into a national collaborative effort to bring extraordinary figures from the LGBTQ+ community into the spotlight.

History of LGBTQ+ History Month

LGBTQ+ History Month is a month-long celebration of the history of the diverse and beautiful lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community and the importance of civil rights movements in progressing gay rights. The observance was created by Rodney Wilson, a history teacher at a Missouri high school, in 1994. The following year, LGBTQ+ History Month was added to the list of commemorative months in a resolution forwarded by the General Assembly of the National Education Association. October was chosen as the month of observance as National Coming Out Day already existed as a holiday on October 11. Also, the anniversary of the first march for gay rights in Washington took place on October 14, 1979.

LGBTQ+ History Month now also includes Ally Week — during which students are encouraged to be allies with LGBTQ members and stand up against bullying, Spirit Day on October 20 — on which the color purple is worn in solidarity with LGBTQ youth, and the death anniversary of Matthew Shepard — a 21-year-old who was murdered in a hate crime on October 12, 1998.

LGBTQ+ History Month allows the opportunity to extensively learn about the history of the LGBTQ+ movement, and what factors and measures will be successful in building communities and providing role models who will best represent and address the issues of the LGBTQ+ community.

The month-long commemoration is most prominently celebrated in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Hungary, Brazil, and the city of Berlin. The particular month of celebration varies across different countries — in the United States, Canada, and Australia, LGBTQ+ History Month is celebrated in October; in the United Kingdom and Hungary, it is celebrated in February; and in Berlin, the holiday is celebrated in June and is known as Queer History Month.

LGBTQ+ History Month timeline

1974
LGBTQ+ History Month in Hungary

The Gay Teacher’s Group is established as a support network after a teacher was ‘outed’ by a student to his managers.

1987
National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day is celebrated on October 11, marking the march for lesbian and gay rights in Washington, U.S.

2006
LGBTQ Icons

The Equality Forum begins selecting 31 LGBTQ icons from history, highlighting one every day during LGBTQ+ History Month.

2015
LGBTQ+ History Month in the U.K.

The LGBT+ Education Charity is registered and becomes the founding sponsor of LGBTQ+ History Month in the U.K.

LGBTQ+ History Month FAQs

What month celebrates LGBTQ?

LGBTQ+ History Month is celebrated in February in Hungary and the United Kingdom. In Berlin, the celebration is known as Queer History Month and takes place throughout June. The month is observed in October in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. 

Why do we have LGBT History Month?

LGBTQ+ History Month highlights the history and achievements of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers. 

What does LGBT stand for?

LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

How To Celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month

  1. Celebrate the history of LGBTQ+

    LGBTQ+ History Month aims to highlight the achievements of those who have spearheaded and led the cause for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. Read up on them, and learn about their ideas and ideologies.

  2. Don the colors!

    The rainbow flag is most popularly associated with the LGBTQ+ community but did you know that each color of the rainbow’s flag has a different meaning? Red is for life, orange is for healing, yellow is the sun, green symbolizes nature, blue is for peace, and purple is for spirit. Wear your colors of choice today or get creative in other ways to express your support.

  3. Join an event

    While most of the parades and fun celebrations take place during Pride Month in June, there are countless more events, seminars, mini-parades, and celebrations that take place during LGBTQ+ History Month. Check out local events and participate!

5 Iconic LGBTQ+ Figures In History

  1. Alan Turing

    Alan Turing played a significant role in defeating Germany in WWII because he cracked the mathematical Enigma code — he was also arrested for being homosexual, which was a crime in Britain in 1952, but he was pardoned in 2017 and was cleared of all charges (and this lead to the Alan Turing Law).

  2. Oscar Wilde

    You know him as one of the most famous playwrights in history, but Oscar Wilde was also outed as homosexual after the details of his affair with an aristocrat were publicly sensationalized.

  3. Marsha P. Johnson

    Marsha P. Johnson was an African American transgender-rights activist who made a huge impact on the progression of the LGBTQ+ cause with her work in the 1960s and 1970s.

  4. Allan Horsfall

    Also known as the grandfather of the gay rights movement, Allan Horsfall fearlessly identified as gay and openly campaigned for homosexuals at a time when it was explicitly illegal.

  5. Edith Windsor

    Edith Windsor’s case against the judicial system in America was the first time same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S.

Why We Love LGBTQ+ History Month

  1. The more you know

    The purpose of LGBTQ+ History Month is to learn as much as we can about the history, movement, and historical LGBTQ+ figures. Elimination of the barbaric violence and unjustified hate towards the community can only be done by educating everyone about it.

  2. The importance of learning

    It is also worth noting the factors that resulted in a positive impact for not only the LGBTQ+ community but also for the civil rights of everyone. The murder of Matthew Shepard led to the formation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009.

  3. Spreading love, not hate

    We at National Today love any observance that celebrates love! Years of unnecessary oppression and violence are torn down bit by bit through the successful campaigning and participation in causes like LGBTQ+ History Month.

LGBTQ+ History Month dates

YearDateDay
2021October 1Friday
2022October 1Saturday
2023October 1Sunday
2024October 1Tuesday
2025October 1Wednesday
Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
AIDS Awareness Month
American Cheese Month
Blindness Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month
Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Eat Better, Eat Together Month
Emotional Wellness Month
Fair Trade Month
German-American Heritage Month
​Global Diversity Awareness Month
Health Literacy Month
Healthy Lung Month
​Italian-American Heritage Month
LGBTQ+ History Month
National ADHD Awareness Month
National Book Month
​National Bullying Prevention Month
National Caramel Month
National Chili Month
National Chiropractic Month
National Critical Illness Awareness Month
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month - October
National Dental Hygiene Month
National Depression Education and Awareness Month
National Dessert Month
​National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Ergonomics Month
National Liver Awareness Month
National Non-GMO Month
National Pasta Month
National Pescatarian Month
National Physical Therapy Month
National Pickled Peppers Month
National Pizza Month
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
National Pretzel Month
National Protect Your Hearing Month
National Sausage Month
National Spina Bifida Awareness Month
Polish American Heritage Month
Rett Syndrome Awareness Month
Vegetarian Month
World Menopause Month
Chinese National Day
International Coffee Day
​International Day of Older Persons
National Black Dog Day
National Fire Pup Day
National Hair Day
National Homemade Cookies Day
National Poetry Day
World Smile Day
World Vegetarian Day
Fungal Disease Awareness Week

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.