About The Event

Cleveland’s LGBTQ+ Heritage Day takes place during the month of October in honor of LGBTQ+ History Month. This year, the event will take place on Thursday, October 19th, 2023. It is a day for the community to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the vitality and betterment of Cleveland’s LGBTQ+ community in the areas of Advocacy & Activism, Health & Wellness, Public Service, Arts & Culture, LGBTQ+ Legacy, Rising Leader, and Workplace Inclusion.

Nominations will be reviewed by a committee of Cleveland's LGBTQ+ community members and previous Heritage Day award recipients.

award categories

Advocacy and Activism:

This award is to honor an individual for their outstanding commitment to advocating for positive change in the areas of social equity, inclusion, and support of marginalized populations. An honoree is a member of the LGBTQ+ community whose selfless acts have directly made an impact in making Cleveland a more socially just, diverse, and equitable community for folks of every background to thrive. They recognize that making Cleveland a better place for LGBTQ+ people benefits everyone. This person role models bold action, whether working at the grass-roots level, the policy level, or somewhere between. (Community organizers, advocates, policy-makers, etc.)

Arts & Culture:

The award for Arts & Culture honors an individual who has contributed significantly to the creation and or preservation of LGBTQ+ culture and heritage. An honoree is a member of the LGBTQ+ community who uses their talents to increase the visibility of LGBTQ+ people while demonstrating the impact of creative contributions. The recipient of this award should demonstrate a love of culture and art, as well as a devotion to sharing this love with their community. (Musicians, sculptors, writers, painters, etc.)

Health & Wellness:

The award for Health & Wellness honors an individual for impactful accomplishments in the fields of health care, health care education, and social services. An honoree may be an LGBTQ+ health care professional, care coordinator, or counselor whose work displays a commitment to the community by tackling disparity in service delivery to LGBTQ+ consumers. Through their exceptional skills and expertise, this honoree addresses the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the realms of health and wellness. (Doctors, helping professionals, non-traditional wellness providers, therapists, etc.)

Public Service:

The award for Public Service honors an individual who has made significant contributions to the livelihood and vitality of Cleveland and its LGBTQ+ community. An honoree is a member of the LGBTQ+ community who might be the quintessential good neighbor, team member, representative, or volunteer. This person gives their time, guidance and assistance to improve the community through the promotion of LGBTQ+ visibility and issues. (Teachers, faith leaders, volunteers, public officials, etc.)

Rising Leader:

The award for Rising Leader honors an individual who is 24 years or younger who has shown initiative, promise, drive, and/or creativity in promoting LGBTQ+ equality. An honoree is a member of the LGBTQ+ community who uses their energy to spread awareness of LGBTQ+ issues, to support their LGBTQ+ peers, to volunteer for LGBTQ+ causes, to create safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ+ community, or otherwise embodies the spirit and ideals of LGBTQ+ activism at an early age. The recipient of this award should be active in their community, whether it is their civic community, their school community, their work community, or an online community. (GSA leaders, school leaders, community activists, online content creators, event planners, etc.)

NOTE: Rising Leaders will be eligible to be nominated for future Heritage Day awards five years after receiving this award.

Workplace Inclusion:

The award for Workplace Inclusion honors an individual who has committed to creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals in their workplaces. An honoree is a member of the LGBTQ+ community who uses their position to advocate for more inclusive policies, recognition of LGBTQ+ employees, and visibility for their community. The recipient of this award should demonstrate a commitment to advancing the movement for LGBTQ+ equality in professional settings. (Establishing Employee Resource Groups, Policy Advocacy, Diversity Committees, etc.)

LGBTQ+ Legacy

The award for LGBTQ+ Legacy honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the Northeast Ohio LGBTQ+ community for over 10 years. Their commitment to the well-being of our community covers a wide range of public service, making it easy for them to have been nominated for multiple Heritage Day categories. They have worked in many different areas of advocacy and inclusion and have held leadership positions where they helped make significant strides to support and advance the quality of life for all in their community.

Nominee consideration

We strongly encourage community members to re-nominate past nominees. There are many highly qualified individuals who have been nominated but have not yet won an award. Past nominations will be taken into account in the selection process.


NOTE: In order to respect the privacy and safety of individuals who will be publicly honored, your nominee must be an out member of the LGBTQ+ community. Individuals who have won an LGBTQ+ Heritage Day Award in the past will not be considered for another award. Nominations of past winners will be respectfully omitted.

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