Lesbian Day of Visibility: Celebrating Lesbian Role Models
Today (26 April) is Lesbian Day of Visibility, so do your thing loud and proud today lesbian friends! In a guest blog post Akira Jeffers writes about the importance of the queer role models and highlights two of her favourite lesbians.
Many people are unaware that there is a Lesbian day of Visibility. And although I don’t identify as a lesbian, I want to shout about this day since we should all be uplifting our LGBTQ+ siblings, encouraging them to be visible and proud!
Although its origins are unknown, Lesbian Day of Visibility has been a highlight of the calendar since at least 2008. On this day, we should look at strong lesbian role models, well known and lesser known, all over the world.
Here are two of my favourites:
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (a.k.a Lady Phyll)
Lady Phyll is the Co-Founder and Director of UK Black Pride and one of the most prominent gay, black activists in the UK.
I have had the pleasure of meeting her twice and she is an amazing person. As a queer Black woman seeing other queer Black women be visible, loud and proud is an almost indescribable feeling. Many BAME queer folk can relate to not seeing themselves represented when they were growing up or being told that being gay wasn’t a thing that “we do”. Lady Phyll is an excellent public speaker; she is passionate and vocal and a force to be reckoned with. And she gives great hugs!
If you want the chance to see Lady Phyll up close and live here in Liverpool, she’s on the bill at this year’s WoW Festival.
Ruth Hunt is the outgoing Chief Executive of Stonewall, a role she has held for the last 5 years.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend UK Black Pride with Stonewall and got to briefly meet her.
During her time at Stonewall, Ruth has pushed the need for allies and representation especially for trans and BAME people within the LGBT+ community. Seeing lesbian women in senior positions is so important and she is an inspiration for many people.
Who are your lesbian role models?
They might not be a celebrity, company director or politician; there may be people in your family, social circles or place of work that you look up to.
Days like Lesbian Day of Visibility remain important since there is a great amount of work still to be done to showcase diversity and to demonstrate that we are more than the stereotypes that people can throw out there.
Seeing LGBTQ+ people in politics, in TV and film, in your place of employment and various other industries helps foster the idea that it is a) normal and b) it is achievable to be ‘X’ and be in certain positions of influence. It pushes people to go for opportunities and to be visible in this world.
So, if you are a lesbian, be SEEN and be VISIBLE*.
To quote queer activist Tanya Compass, “Exist Loudly!”
Even if it’s only in your bedroom, with just one person, one group of friends, or only on the internet: EXIST LOUDLY.
* Please do take your personal safety and wellbeing into consideration while existing loudly - stay safe x
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Header image via homohistory.blogspot.nl