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What is #GayUnclesDay—and why is the internet making it a thing?
Childless LGBT relatives need appreciation too.
There’s a “national day” for literally everything now, thanks to the internet. Log onto Twitter at random and you’ll find #NationalLazyDay (that’s today, actually), #NationalGrilledCheeseDay, #NationalPabebeWaveDay (yeah, we aren’t sure either), and days for every kind of food, family member, pet, and object you can think of.
But there’s no holiday for celebrating gay uncles—until now.
As Towleroad reported on Wednesday, gay Twitter is trying to make #GayUnclesDay happen on August 14. Why? To get presents, of course.
Jokes about tacky gifts aside, gay uncles deserve special recognition from family members. The gay uncle has been a sort of IRL meme in LGBT culture for decades: They’re the family members who don’t have kids of their own but love to lavish gifts and attention on nieces and nephews. The gay uncle (and, to be fair, the lesbian aunt) is often the fun one, the one who lives in a big city that a kid gets shipped off to visit once they are old enough to go off exploring the world.
The gay uncle/lesbian aunt is also traditionally the first beacon of acceptance and model of adulthood that queer and questioning kids have available. Gay uncles provide a vital service just by being visible within the family—especially for children and teens whose parents are less than LGBT-friendly.
While recognizing that LGBT people are increasingly having children of their own, the gay uncle is still a thing. And on August 14—the internet has decided—we’re going to applaud our “guncles” for all they do.
Mary Emily O'Hara is an LGBTQ reporter. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, NBC Out, Daily Dot, Broadly, Vice, the Daily Beast, the Advocate, Huffington Post, DNAinfo, Al Jazeera, and Portland's Pulitzer Prize-winning newsweekly Willamette Week, among other outlets.