The Center participates in a number of annual pride and visibility observances that uplift LGBTIQA+ identities. We celebrate some of these identities on different dates than their national and international observances as needed to make them more accessible to the Carolina community. If you would like to be part of planning these events and awareness campaigns, please get involved. Each of these annual events have a dedicated group of volunteers that work with Center staff to bring them to fruition.
LGBTQ Center Pride and Awareness Observances
(In chronological order)
Bi Visibility Day, also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day, has been marked on September 23rd each year since 1999 to highlight biphobia and to help people find the bisexual community. (http://www.bivisibilityday.com)
Pride: Durham, NC serves as the annual celebration of community, family, pride, and activism in Durham and across the state. (https://www.pridedurhamnc.org)
National Coming Out Day commemorates the October 11, 1987 Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which called for President Ronald Reagan to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
We celebrate Asexual and Aromantic Pride and Awareness (also called Asexual and Aromantic Awareness Day) as our campus observance of Asexual Awareness Week (last week of October), an international campaign that seeks to educate about asexual, aromantic, demisexual, and grey-asexual experiences and to create materials that are accessible to our community and our allies around the world. (http://www.asexualawarenessweek.com)
Intersex Day of Solidarity, also known as Intersex Day of Remembrance, takes place on November 8. The Day marks the birthday of Herculine Barbin, a French intersex person whose memoirs were later published by the philosopher Michel Foucault, along with contemporary texts and a later fictionalized account. Intersex Awareness Day is a related observance that takes place on October 26 each year. It is the anniversary of a 1996 Intersex Society of North America protest in Boston where the American Academy of Pediatrics was holding their annual meeting. At Carolina, we acknowledge Intersex Awareness Day, but center programming around Intersex Day of Solidarity.
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 murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved (https://tdor.info). In 2015, the organization BreakOUT! created Trans Day of Resilience, inviting groups across the US to join them in uplifting the lives and resistance of trans people of color. (https://www.tdor.co)
World AIDS Day (observed on campus in partnership with Student Wellness) takes place each year on December 1st. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day. (https://www.worldaidsday.org)
Pansexual Visibility Day on May 24th and National Pansexual Pride Day on December 8th are marked to celebrate strides taken by the pansexual and panromantic community to be accepted and understood. At Carolina, we celebrate in February since both of those dates fall outside of Carolina's academic calendar.
We celebrate Nonbinary or "Queer" gender identity in early March. International Non-Binary People's Day has been proposed by a number of groups for July 14th because it falls equidistant between International Women’s Day and International Men’s Day, or on March 14th in honor of Kate Bornstein and their pivotal role in bringing awareness to the existence of non-binary identities.
The Carolina Women’s Center and the LGBTQ Center organize Gender Week to encourage the campus and greater communities to better understand and map the intersections of identity and examine the ways that gender, race, class, etc. influence our daily lives.
The intersectional focus of Gender Week will challenge us to reexamine the assumptions and actions that make up our habits, while we have in-depth discussions of context and history to illuminate many truths about our identities and experiences that are often ignored.
We celebrate Trans Pride and Visibility at the end of March in observance of International Transgender Day of Visibility, held annually on March 31st. "TDOV is a day to show your support for the trans community. It aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading knowledge of the trans community. Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance, this is not a day for mourning: this is a day of empowerment and getting the recognition deserve!" (source: http://www.transstudent.org/tdov)
Usually held in March or April, Pride Week is a partnership between the LGBTQ Center and student organizations across campus that focus on inclusivity and/or advocacy related to gender and sexual diversity. Queer Prom, the week's flagship event, is organized by UNC Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA).
The origins of International Day of Lesbian Visibility being held on April 26th are unclear but the date is being observed by more organizations each year.