Lesbian Visibility Week 2023 | Why Visibility Matters
Updated: Apr 25
Lesbian Visibility Week is an annual event that takes place during the last week of April in the UK, dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of the experiences and contributions of lesbians from all over the world. The goal? To promote the visibility and representation of lesbians in all areas of life, whilst creating and promoting safe and inclusive environments for lesbians to express themselves and connect with others.
A study by LGBTQ+ young people’s charity Just Like Us found that lesbian young adults were the most likely of all LGBTQ+ identities to say they were ashamed of being part of the community. No one should feel ashamed to be LGBTQ+. Still today, some lesbians face discrimination or invisibility in their personal and professional lives, and often struggle to find representation in media and popular culture.
Growing up as a teenage lesbian in West Sussex was quite isolating. I found myself yearning for some level of representation in the media, at my school, in the town I lived in.
Being different is hard, especially when you're not quite sure who you are, where you want to go, or what life could look like. Representation matters.
Representation felt limited, almost non existent to me, especially so if I hadn't have spent so much time seeking it out. The L Word was available a couple of nights a week on TV, and I became a part of a growing community of teenage lesbians from all over the UK on the social media site, Bebo. Understanding people like me existed, was a big step for me to then learn to accept myself. I felt normal.
It wasn't until i grew older when I met and befriended lesbians local to me. When I did, I felt overwhelmed, grateful, euphoric. I was no longer the odd one out. The period of being absent from a community was hard. It is so important to me that those coming out do not feel isolated during an already pretty daunting part of their life, and those already out, continue to form meaningful connections.
Fostering connections within the lesbian community helps to provide safe spaces for us lesbians to come together, share experiences, and support each other. The Chichester Pride weekly meet ups and monthly walks, hosted by the wonderful Chichester Pride Co-Chair Mel, offer safe spaces for anyone and everyone to connect with new people, whether you fall under the LGBTQIA umbrella or are simple an awesome ally.
Our ethos is focussed on so much more than a one-day event (although it is going to be awesome!). We prioritise bringing people together to feel comfortable in their own skin and celebrate who they are. We've seen the group grow massively over the past few years and we'd love to welcome you into it.
You can learn more about our meets ups here: https://www.chichesterpride.co.uk/calendar Work is still to be done. Lesbians continue to face discrimination and marginalisation in many areas of life, including in the workplace, healthcare, and social spaces.
However, by continuing to raise awareness, promote visibility, and advocate for greater representation and rights, we can work towards a more inclusive and accepting society for all. Join us Join us throughout the week for more Lesbian Visibility Week content.
And join us on May 27th at Chichester Pride 2023! Tickets here.