Lesbian Visibility Week 2022
"I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't."
AUDRE LORDE (1934-1992)
This week (25 April 2022 – 1 May 2022), we are celebrating Lesbian Visibility Week and all lesbian, bisexual, transgender women, and non-binary people.
WHAT ARE THE AIMS AND ORIGIN OF LVW 2022?
Lesbian Visibility Week was begun in 1990 in the US with the aim of shining a light on all LGBT+ women and non-binary people. It was conceived out of lesbians' frustrations with the higher visibility of LGBT+ men than women, and is intended to improve awareness and boost the socio-political capital of LGBT+ women and non-binary people around the world There have been documented days and events for explicitly celebrating and raising visibility for LGBT+ women and non-binary people since around 1980 in Australia and New Zealand.
LESBIAN WOMEN ARE TYPICALLY LESS VISIBLE WITHIN LGBT+ EMPLOYEE NETWORKS OVERALL.
- Gay women are almost twice as likely to be ‘out’ at work compared with gay men.
- According to a recent study, 81% of LGBT+ women are out to their family and friends. (DIVA Survey 2021) However, this drops to 31% and 57% of bisexual and lesbian women respectively when considering being open about their sexuality at work.
- Only 38% of LGBT+ BAME women reported being out to their families.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF INVISIBILITY?
The lack of visibility is a barrier both to attracting more LGBT+ women into our industry, but a barrier to that talent feeling able to be "out" at work.
- Establishing safe spaces for LGBT+ women and non-binary people to bring their full selves to work is critical. This is not possible without concerted efforts to understand the perspectives, barriers and needs of LGBT+ women and non-binary people. What is your organisation doing to actively achieve this?
- COVID-19 HAS EXACERBATED MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS AMONGST LGBT+ WOMEN AND NON-BINARY PEOPLE.
- Over 3 in 4 (77%) feel that their mental health has suffered because of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns.
- Over 4 in 5 (81%) of the LGBTQI women in our sample are open with most or all their friends about their sexual orientation, while just over 4% are not open with any of their close friends.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
- Does my organisation and/or LGBT+ network shine 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 signalling our support to the community externally?
- How are we tracking, measuring, and reviewing our progress?
Have your say by getting in touch today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lesbian visibility week is celebrated between 25 April 2022 – 1 May 2022 in the UK and US.
Statistics: DIVA Survey 2021