July 19, 2024

As I was flipping the calendar and charting out my monthly plans I came across an announcement that I had been unaware of, and at the same time was not the least bit surprised to see. October is 2SLGBTQI+ History Month, and I was struck with several mundane reactions. “Wait, again?” “Hold on, I thought we just…”, as well as “Now just what is all of this added to the acronym???” Yes, we are set to go through yet another segment of the calendar where supposedly marginalized groups become the center of attention.

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But what is up with that acronym now, appearing like someone is typing with boxing gloves? For some time I have been going with an abbreviated designator – LGBT𝜋 – for the very reason that this pride label seems to perpetually expand. Case in point, I had to research to find out what some of the letters represented.

2SLGBTQIA+ is an acronym that stands for Two-Spirit, Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual. The plus sign or + in the tag is believed to represent the countless ways people choose to self-identify.

Well, when it comes to “countless” I am glad they (he/she/etc.) said it. I cannot keep up, and I have been driven to near apathy. I have heard of “Two Spirits”, the designator for Native Americans, as agreed upon during the third annual Native American Gay and Lesbian Gathering in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1990. (I included this detail because they make it sound vital.) “Intersex” is one I have no grasp on, so cannot even comment.

As far as “asexual,” this one confounds. If you are not sexual in any fashion, you are not partaking. So why is there a need to be identified? And further, what activism specifically are you engaged in? You technically are not doing something, so it seems a mystery how you might be oppressed or discriminated against…for not being or doing what might offend others. I see it as in the same category as a devout Christian who chooses to abstain until marriage; I’m not sure many of those folks, as an example, are passed over for a promotion due to their choice.

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The very fact these various categories are up for discussion defies the central argument made by the Pride community – that is, that they are marginalized and need to promote awareness. Believe those of us not included in the ever-widening Pride banner – we are well aware of you all. It baffles us how there can be the claim of being underrepresented when there is loud support for all of you in entertainment, advertising & commerce, as well as in politics. 

This brings us to LGBT History Month. [Note: The need to constantly expand the Pride label has affected this group, which trademarked the now-truncated acronym.]  The first question is why this is not already a part of June, which is Pride Month – why a separate recognition of 2SLGBTQI+ history? And how come this is not uniform internationally? In Britain, they recognize this history in February, and in Berlin, it is celebrated as Queer History Month, in May. And this folds into the other issue.

When looking at the calendar we are not simply encountering varied recognitions throughout the year, we are inundated by them. It is a phenomenon that all types of groups and sub-categories want to be included under the Pride banner, but then they also want to be recognized independently with various awareness portions of the year. Here is a comprehensive, but certainly not complete, rundown of the numerous recognitions on the calendar:

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

LGBT History Month (Britain)

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MARCH

Bisexual Health Awareness Month

APRIL

  • 6th: International Asexuality Day

  • Second Wednesday: International Day of Pink

  • Second Friday: Day of Silence (to end the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bias)

  • 26th: Lesbian Visibility Day 

MAY

Queer Month (Germany)

  • 17th: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia 

  • 19th: Agender Pride Day

  • 22nd: Irish Marriage Referendum Commemoration Day

  • 22nd: Harvey Milk Day

  • 24th: Pansexual and Panromantic Awareness Day

JUNE

Pride Month

  • 5th: Aromantic Visibility Day

  • 5th: HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day

  • 12th: Pulse Nightclub Night of Remembrance

  • Second Week: Schools Pride Week

  • 28th: Stonewall Riots Remembrance Day

JULY

  • 9th: Lesbian Awareness Day (Chile)

  • 16th: Drag Day

  • Week of 14th: Non-Binary Awareness Week

  • 14th: Non-Binary People’s Day

AUGUST

Transgender History Month

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

2SLGBTQI+ History Month

  • 8th: Lesbian Day

  • 11th: National Coming Out Day

  • 17th: Genderfluid Visibility Week

  • Third Thursday of the Month: Spirit Day

  • Last Week of the Month: Ace Week (to promote awareness of those on the asexual spectrum)

  • 21st: Pronouns Day

  • 26th: Intersex Awareness Day

NOVEMBER

Trans Awareness Month

  • First Sunday of the Month: Trans Parents Day

  • 8th: Intersex Day of Remembrance

  • 13th: Trans Awareness Week

  • 20th: Trans Awareness Day

DECEMBER

That totals out to at least four full months of Pride awareness periods, seven additional weeks, and a collection of days totaling out to another month of recognition. This means that the groups claiming to be overlooked and underrepresented occupy well over half of the annual calendar. If they were any more celebrated Hallmark would need to open up stores dedicated strictly to pride celebration events.

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As you can see above, October is packed with accolades, and in some ways this is only fitting. Not only is the eclipsing Hispanic Heritage Month now, but in Canada it is also Women’s History Month, so there is an established pattern of erasing women for the sake of activist recognition. With all of the organizations and communities with their desire to be recognized, this will only continue to spread.

To see what kind of a rabbit hole of recognition you can tumble down, just look at the dozens of Pride groups with their own flags.

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