April 26th marks the Lesbian Visibility Day, on the LGBTQ calendar of events. It brings to view about women who love women. It also provides a platform for lesbian role models to voice the issues around lesbians.
This day is celebrated every year since 2008. However, the origins of it remain a mystery. Initially, it took its roots in the US, and thanks to the internet, it is now celebrated globally. Today, to mark this occasion, let’s take a look at what this day means to some of these famous lesbians. And how the coronavirus has modified the celebrations.
According to them, this is what Lesbian Visibility Day truly represents:
“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”, said Phyll Opoku-gyimah, to PinkNews.
“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.” Phyll Opoku-gyimah is the Executive Director and Co-founder of UK Black Pride.
“Lesbian Visibility Day is when we simply take time to see one aspect of both the diversity that is always around us. But also the intersectionality of all of us. Being a lesbian is one of the core aspects that make me who I am. In our busy lives, it’s key to [feel able to] say: ‘Yep, that’s who I am. If I had to hide that part of me, or if I wasn’t able to love my partner, it would really impact on my ability to thrive.’ It’s important that young women see that you can love other women – or be bi or pansexual – and be happy, confident, successful. And a great role model. It breaks down stereotypes and challenges people’s’ perceptions.
“That can only help the next generation grow up without the sense of fear, shame and isolation that many of us grew up with”, told Claire Harvey to PinkNews. She is a paralympian and Diversity Role Model’s chief executive.
“This celebration is a day when we can rejoice in who we are, and every aspect of ourselves. A day to be out, proud, and fully resplendent as women that connect with other women. Everyday should be like this. Gender equality is still a utopian goal, and women are often overlooked, and marginalised, in the workplace, on the street, and in history. Our skills, qualities, and achievements often go unrecognised or uncharted, and this inequality is compounded for women of colour, women with disabilities, and women that don’t conform to ‘heterosexual norms.’ Having at least one day per year when we can claim some prominence, and also find strength in numbers, is more than welcome – as well as vital to address imbalance”, told Ritu to PinkNews. She is an LGBTQ+ activist and a disco jackie.
“I’m glad this day exists but, in a better world, it wouldn’t be necessary. Lesbian Visibility Day is important because, despite the improvements in legislation in the UK, lesbians are still often erased from or face challenges in public life, cultural productions, their families of origin and some faith organisations”, told Jane to PinkNews. “Because of enduring white cis-hetero-patriarchal norms, some lesbians still feel forced to hide parts of themselves. And lesbians young or old, who may not yet have found a community, are fearful of real and harmful prejudice.”
Currently a psychotherapist, Jane was a former editor of Diva.
COVID-19 might have slowed down the celebrations:
The pandemic has obviously pressed pause on Lesbian Visibility Day, this year. But it hasn’t entirely stopped lesbians’ from voicing their opinions of course. These are a few snippets of how it is celebrated over social media.
April 26 is #LesbianVisibilityDay! Today we celebrate the L in the LGBTQ+ as we aim to amplify lesbian voices in our expanding community.
Cheers to all the cis, trans and non binary lesbians in the world! 🌈 pic.twitter.com/WGLiWGW0AS
— Tina B. 🏳️🌈 (@inaurner) April 26, 2020
happy international #lesbianvisibilityday! 👭
san francisco, gay freedom parade, 1979 pic.twitter.com/APwSlA6o4R
— Öznur Pnr 🏳️🌈 (@oznur_pnr) April 26, 2020
— Lauren ✨ (@petrichoriia) April 26, 2020
— WOOZI COLA↺ (@cheolgyus) April 26, 2020
The author Lauren Duca, for instance, said this to the world: “Happy #LesbianVisibilityDay to everyone who identifies as a lesbian. Let’s keep fighting for the queer future we deserve”, in a tweet.
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) April 26, 2020
Then there’s Ellen DeGeneres. She was honoured with the Carol Burnett Award, at the Golden Globes in the beginning of this year. No one can forget the famous introduction speech from SNL’s Kate McKinnon. It was so funny and poignant. However, incase you haven’t seen it yet, Ellen shared it again on her talk show a few days later.
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