Submitted by Cassitee Creary, SEIU-West Gender & Sexual Diversity Co-Chair (2021-2023)

International Lesbian Day, which is recognized on October 8, is a day for celebration in the lesbian community, but what exactly is International Lesbian Day? International Lesbian Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the achievements, contributions, and unique experiences of lesbian women.

It is also a day to reflect on the challenges faced by these women and to promote a greater understanding of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. By celebrating International Lesbian Day, we can create a culture of acceptance and inclusion and help to create a more equal and just society for all.


International Lesbian Day is a worldwide celebration of the lesbian community. It is a day to celebrate lesbian diversity, culture, and history. It is also an important celebration for lesbian rights and is part of the unfortunately long and difficult task of tackling the homophobia that surrounds both the lesbian community and other gender and sexually diverse communities.


It is also important to remember that up until fairly recently lesbian women, or women who did not participate in socially accepted sexual behaviour, could be committed to psychiatric hospitals for treatment. Up until 1973 psychiatrists considered homosexuality to be a personality disorder. Being gay or lesbian was shamed and associated with criminal activity simply for not fitting in to patriarchal and heterosexual normality. International Lesbian Day represents being proud of your identity despite the ongoing prejudice that the community faces.


One of the many reasons why International Lesbian Day is so important is because it began so soon after this mistreatment of the community was considered normal. The way the lesbian community is treated today is still far from perfect, but International Lesbian Day should be a reminder of how strong the community is, how far it has come, and should continue to make sure lesbian voices do not go unheard.


Term Definition

This acronym is meant to encompass and be inclusive of the Queer Community. The specific letters in the acronym mean:

2Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual

The + includes Pansexual, Agender, Gender Queer, Questioning, and other terms which are evolving and emerging.

Additional definitions and information can be found on the Gender and Sexual Diversity Committee page on our website, including this Gender and Sexual Diversity Glossary published by the Government of Canada.

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