This Sunday 26 April is Lesbian Visibility Day, an important time to challenge stereotypes, show the diversity of the community, and celebrate women-loving women around the world. This year also marks the first ever Lesbian Visibility Week, an annual initiative launched by Diva magazine.
Monday marked the start of the week which will end this Sunday, and as part of the awareness Diva teamed up with Kantar to release one of the largest-ever surveys of queer women.
The DIVA Survey: LGBTQI Women’s Insight 2020 highlights the unique challenges lesbians face in 2020 and reveals their vision for the future.
According to the report, one of the most pressing concerns is that 79% of those surveyed feel their male counterparts are more visible under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, with the feeling that lesbian stories and accounts are often sidelined.
Another 70% of queer women want to see their community represented more in advertising, and 85% felt there was not enough visibility of queer women on television.
I would like to use this awareness week to celebrate the beautiful diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, and to applaud all lesbian women who inspire young women to be proud of themselves and rise up together as women.
It’s vitally important that this day celebrates all women, especially those who come from marginalised communities.
In a community that often feels overlooked and underrepresented, I’d like to look at some of the most influential lesbian women and LGBTQ+ charities doing amazing work for this community.
Some of the most influential lesbian women of the moment.
Mikaela Straus (a.k.a King Princess)
King Princess is a genderqueer icon and musician, showing us all that there is no right way to be queer and I simply can not get enough of her. I urge you to listen to her songs, watch her interviews, follow her on Instagram… soak her up!
Amandla told her fans she was gay in an Instagram post in 2018 saying, “So happy to say the words ‘Yep, I’m Gay’ in official print’”. After citing heteronormativity and internalised homophobia for reasons she was hesitant to publicly come out, she is now a guiding light for many of her LGBTQ+ fans.
Cynthia doesn’t really need any introduction, but just incase you didn’t know she is the Sex and the City star who featured in the recent short film ‘Be A Lady They Said’ highlighting the conflicting and damaging messages women are bombarded with every day.
Lady Phyll is one of the most prolific LGBTQ+ activists in the UK, she is the founder of UK Black Pride, trustee at Diva magazine, so-editor of Sista!, and head of equality at trade union PCS.
One of the most vocal openly gay women in Hollywood, Ellen got married last year after writing a Facebook post calling out the homophobia and sexism she experienced in the industry. The post was praised for raising awareness of issues that have been ignored for too long.
Credit: Stonewall Facebook
Some important LGBTQ+ charities that are worth a donation if you can.
Established in 2011, Kaleidoscope Trust works to uphold the human rights of LGBQT+ people in countries around the world where they are discriminated against or marginalised due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression
Stonewall is a LGBTQ+ rights charity named after the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The charity’s mission is to “let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they’re not alone.”
UK mental health charity Mind has a specific section for LGBTQ+ people, where you can access information about mental health support: “Those of us who identify as LGBTQ+ are more likely to experience a mental health problem than the wider population.”
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)
The ILGA is a worldwide federation which has been campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights in 152 countries since 1978. The mission is to “act as a leading organisation and a global voice for the rights of those who face discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation, gender and/or gender expression and sex (intersex).”
Of course, I couldn’t celebrate this week without looking back on some of my favourite lesbian adult films…
‘Un’Ultima Volta [The End]’by Charlie Benedetti on EroticFilms
An emotional and powerful film that covers one of the most intense forms of sex, breakup sex. Real life couple Charlie Benedetti and Sara Brown play Claudia and Elisa, a young Italian couple living together on the brink of a breakup while still fully immersed in the memorabilia of a happy relationship that once was.
‘1953‘ by Julia Schönstädt on EroticFilms
Markets, railways, pubs and Piccadilly Circus: Director Julia Schoenstaedt’s short film takes us back in time to a lesbian love affair in London in the 1950s.
Inspired by Steven Shainberg’s “Secretary” film, Girl Friday is a thrilling lesbian psychological drama that explores the intense relationship between a dominant lawyer and her obsessed new secretary.
Girl on Girl vol.2 on The Store by Erika Lust
Girl on Girl vol.2 on The Store by Erika Lust
The is the second volume of Girl on Girl with six lesbian fantasies exploring group sex, passionate one-night stands, romance, kinks and the pleasures of self-love, all made by and for the female gaze. Welcome to another world; full of intimate and sexy stories by women who love other women.
So, how will you be marking Lesbian Visibility Day