Lesbian Visibility Day – Friday 26th April 2019

Happy Lesbian Visibility Day!

We are have been working at Schools OT UK since 1974 to make LGBT people in all their diversity visible and have been particularly busy in schools having been the first group to support gay teachers (as we called ourselves back then). We have consistently produced free materials and resources for schools, supported teachers in coming out and worked with unions to support us – they did not back in 1974.

We have worked hard to ensure that lesbians bisexuals and trans are visible – not always easy, especially when you think of them as disabled or women of colour.

LGBT History Month, every February, gives people a chance to celebrate us and this year it was a great success and OUTing the Past our history festival told many LBT stories.

Sue Sanders, founder of LGBT History Month and the Classroom, a website with over 80 lesson plans to usualise LGBT issues across the National Curriculum for all ages is on the Diva Power List today at no. 95.

We wish lesbians everywhere a great day and are totally mindful that we are very lucky to be  out and proud; so many of our sisters round the world are in grave danger and we are in awe of the work of Rainbow world , African rainbow family, Epsilon, The Kaleidoscope Trust. Today might be a good day to make a donation!

Lesbian campaigners tell us what Lesbian Visibility Day means to them

Lesbian Visibility Day, now embedded in the international LGBTQ+ calendar, is a celebration of the world’s diverse Sapphic community.

Held on April 26 every year, Lesbian Visibility Day showcases women-loving-women, providing a platform for lesbian role models to speak out on the issues facing female sexual minorities.

The origins of the day remain mysterious, but is has been running since 2008. Having initially started in the US, Lesbian Visibility Day – thanks to the wonders of the worldwide web – is now celebrated internationally.

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Co-Founder and Executive Director of UK Black Pride and Patron of LGBT+ History Month:

 

“Lesbian Visibility Day is important, as are so many other days, because this day allows us to celebrate lesbians here and abroad.

“These include the lesbians who have come before us, and those who have paved the way, as well as lesbians today who are raising the roof, and younger lesbians, who are our future leaders.

“Lesbian and bi visibility is about being proud in all our shades and experiences, which is vital by virtue of our very existence.

“As a black lesbian woman, I love my complexities, nuanced ways, and richness. They allow me to amplify my voice and be heard and seen 365 days of the year, when often parts of society wish to erase my lived experience.

“We have a great deal of work to do in amplifying the experiences of all lesbians, which has to take an inclusive approach.”

Aderonke Apata, Human Rights Activist and Founder of African Rainbow Family and Patron of LGBT+ History Month:

“Lesbian Visibility Day means a lot to me. I see it as a day when we can celebrate who we are as people who don’t conform to the heteronormative narrative. 

“At African Rainbow Family we celebrate Lesbian Visibility Day and continually use it to raise awareness about lesbians of colour, as well as for demanding a fair and humane asylum system for lesbians.

“It is important that we are visible as lesbians in order to avoid our erasure. There are many lesbians around the world that live in fear of freely identifying [as gay]. In 36 Commonwealth countries, same-sex love is illegal.

“The more we celebrate Lesbian Visibility Day and continue the conversation, the more we raise awareness about the fact that love is not illegal. We can encourage lesbians in the closet to ‘come out’ and demand their freedom.

“This brings me back home to lesbian women that are seeking asylum in the UK and other countries. The treatment of lesbians seeking asylum in the UK by the Home Office is disgraceful and appalling…they don’t believe you can be a lesbian and have children, or have been married previously due to conforming to societal norms.”

The full piece from Pink News 2018 is here:

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/04/26/lesbian-visibility-day-campaigners-what-it-means-to-them/