Why is Lesbian Visibility Important?
Lesbian Visibility Week is 26 April - 2 May 2021. The aim is to celebrate lesbians and show solidarity with all LGBTQI women and non binary people in the community. We (DIVA) believe in unity, and lifting up those who are most marginalised.
Recent research (Pride Matters 2018 ) has shown that:
- Gay women are almost twice as unlikely to be out in the workplace as gay male colleagues.
- 73% of lesbians surveyed say equal rights does not equal being treated equally.
- 54% of lesbians pay close attention to their environment to make sure they are safe.
- Being out to colleagues is one thing, being out to your employer or boss is another - with 19% of gay men surveyed and 35% of lesbians saying they are not out to their employers.
- This extends to home life where 38% of BAME LGBT+ people surveyed aren’t out to their family.
“There are many LGBT+ employees in many organisations who still feel closeted. This hinders not only the careers of LGBT+ professionals, but also means that organisations are missing out on talented people. All of us need to create inclusive environments where LGBT+ talent can feel safe, free to be their true selves, and fully participate in the workplace."
"BAME LGBT+ individuals feeling like there is no place for them within the wider mainstream LGBT community, contributing to a self-reinforcing cycle of exclusion and invisibility."
The DIVA Survey 2021 LGBT+ Women and Non-Binary People’s Insight 2021 reported that during the last 12 months the top three concerns related to Covid-19 Pandemic and the related lockdown are: being unable to see family and friends (63%), being worried about the health of family and friends (51%) and decreased mental well-being (48%).
- Over 3 in 4 (77%) feel that their mental health has suffered as a result of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns.
- Over 4 in 5 (81%) of the LGBTQI women in our sample are open with most or all of their friends about their sexual orientation, while just over 4% are not open with any of their close friends.
“It’s given me a lot of time to reflect on my sexuality and understand how I identify. Lots of time to self-educate on the spectrum of LGBTQIA+ issues and experiences.”
“I have been able to start University and make new friends even though it has been online - it has made me
feel comfortable because I have had the choice of when to disclose my disability and sexuality.”
Photo by Brianna Amick from Pexels.