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Lesbian Visibility and Inclusion

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.

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.”