Happy International Lesbian Day! You heard that right: Today’s the day to celebrate ladies who love ladies! Whether you’re out or still learning about your sexuality, you deserve to take today for you. Today’s about every single lesbian, from the actors leading representation, to softball lesbians, and even our lesbian exes. In honor of the occasion, I’ll personally be listening to a bunch of lesbians sing about love, scrolling through my favorite lesbian meme accounts, and watching a bunch of lesbians on the big screen (but in my apartment — so, the 13-inch screen).
Is this the first you’ve heard of International Lesbian Day? Don’t worry, you’re probably not alone. ILD originated in New Zealand and is still primarily celebrated in that area of the globe. Thanks to the internet and the vast reach of social media, ILD is now starting to be observed more around the world.
The day of celebration has a pretty murky history; there’s no definite starting date or inciting event, and different accounts tend to tell conflicting stories due to the vast history of lesbian activism in New Zealand. The account supported by the Queer History Project of New Zealand is the most generally accepted and says that it was first celebrated on March 8th, 1980 by a group of 40 lesbians who marched through Wellington Park, New Zealand on International Women’s Day. One thing is for certain about the date, though: It’s always celebrated on October 8th, because it’s exactly six months after International Women’s Day on March 8th.
The lesbian community in New Zealand has taken the date and run with it, so ILD is now used to mark significant events in the community. Lesbians On The Loose, a long-running lesbian magazine, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2009 on October 8th. In 2008, LGBTQ+ Australian community health organization ACON launched the Lesbian Health Strategy, a guide to general wellbeing for lesbians in the region.
So, here’s to you, lesbians! You drive me crazy sometimes, considering U-hauling is first base and long-distance is practically inevitable, but you’re the most amazing people ever. And you deserve to have an amazing day. Happy International Lesbian Day from GO!