International Lesbian Day 2021
WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN DAY?
International Lesbian Day is an annual day to celebrate and bring visibility to lesbians in the LGBT+ community. The purpose of the date is to celebrate and shine a light on the diversity of lesbians internationally. Whilst the exact foundation of International Lesbian Day is uncertain, it is widely believed that it began in Australia and New Zealand in 1980 when a Lesbian Day March was held in New Zealand. The first Australian event was held at the Collingwood Town Hall in Melbourne on October 13, 1990.
RECENT RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT MOST LGBT+ WOMEN IDENTIFY AS LESBIAN
Did you know? Diva magazine recently published ‘The Diva Survey: LGBT+ Women and Non-Binary People’s Insight 2021 sponsored by Citi Group and Tesco. This surveyed 1884 LGBT+ women and found that:
- 72% identified as lesbian
- 5% as gay
- 16% bisexual
- 1% asexual
THE MAJORITY OF LGBT+ WOMEN HAVE EXPERIENCED POOR MENTAL HEALTH DURING LOCKDOWN
- Mental Health: over 3 in 4 (77%) felt that their mental health has suffered as a result of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns.
- Physical Health & Family: of those with children, over 1 in 3 (36%) said they have experienced barriers or challenges whilst trying to start or grow their family.
- Openness: over 4 in 5 (81%) of the LGBT+ women said they were open with most, or all, of their friends about their sexual orientation. Whilst, just over 4% said that they are not open with any of their close friends.
LGBT+ WOMEN ARE LESS VISIBLE THAN LGBT+ MEN
- Lesbian women are typically less visible within LGBT+ employee networks overall.
- The intersections of gender and sexual orientation mean that LGBT+ women are less represented within our industry and there are very few who are visible.
- The lack of visibility acts as a barrier to attracting more LGBT+ women into our industry and in our existing talent feeling able to be ‘out’ within the workplace.
- On possible reason might be that, throughout history, women have not had the same freedom or independence as men to pursue same-sex relationships and that this stereotype still plays out today.
QUESTIONS TO ASK:
- Does my organisation, and, or, LGBT+ network, shines a light on LGBT+ women equally?
- Does my organisation, and, or, LGBT+ network, provide awareness-building education and initiatives for colleagues?
- Does my organisation, and, or, LGBT+ network, have specific and visible LGBT+ women role models and allies?
- How are we developing a culture of authentic allyship around LGBT+ women?
- How are we signaling our support to the community externally?
- How are we tracking, measuring and reviewing our progress?
To explore this conversation further please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org