Hersory of ILD

The history of International Lesbian Day
Celebrated 8 October each year

International Lesbian Day (ILD) is celebrated around the world annually on the 8th of October. The day marks Lesbians coming together to celebrate Lesbian culture. The origins of the day are debated.

ILD is celebrated exactly 6 months after International Women’s Day. Merty (2007) maintains that it was first celebrated in the 1980’s, this is supported by the Queer History Project of New Zealand. They indicate that in 1980 an International Lesbian Day March was held on March 8 (date of International Womens Day), in which 40 lesbians marched through Wellington Park, NZ, some of them veiled in purple (Young, 2002). An alternate date of origin is proposed by Akersten (2006) who commented that ILD was first celebrated in New Zealand at Wellington in 1993. The AU Human Rights Council, ILD is celebrated on 8 October. The origins of the date are unknown but they indicate celebrations began in the 1990’s.

The origins of the date may be contentious, but the significance of the date is indicated by its use across the community. ILD is used as a marker for significant lesbian community events, including a date in which the long running Lesbian Magazine, Lesbians on the loose (LOTL), chose the date to mark there 20th anniversary (Badger 2007). In 2008 ACON also choose the date to launch the Lesbian Health Strategy (Lamont 2008).

Celebration dances have happened around Australia for many years. 2008 saw the beginning of an annual ILD Cowgirl Dance Party in Berry, NSW, for more information visit the REAL Illawarra Blog http://realillawarra.blogspot.com/

Mety, 2007, Weblog, Pink Sofa Weblog, accessed 22/5/09, http://www.pinksofa.com/toast/toast.asp?action=posts&sub=search&fid=-1&author=&subject=international+lesbian+day&message=&dayprune=-1&Submit=Search</ref>

AU Human Rights Council, Website, accessed 22/5/09, http://www1.american.edu/humanrights/hr_calendar.html

Akersten, M. 2006, GayNZ Weblog, accessed 22/5/09, http://www.gaynz.com/forum/index.php?topic=2418.0

Badger, S. 2007, Australia’s leading lesbian magazine links with the longest running lesbian community grants scheme to make herstory, LOTL, accessed 22/5/09, http://www.lotl.com/default2.asp?Category=206

Lamont, A. 2008, Lesbian Health gets a new focus, Sydney Star Observer, 24 Sept 2008, accessed 22/5/09, http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/2008/09/24/lesbian-health-gets-a-new-focus/1896

Young, H. 2002, A Chronicle of Homosexuality in New Zealand: Part 3, Queer History New Zealand, Last updated 11 July 2002, accessed 22/5/09,  http://www.queerhistory.net.nz/Part3.html

Last updated 22 May 2009
email web mistress: wmeyers08@gmail.com