Pride host and LGBTQI+ educator Saski writes about the importance of role models and #LesbianDayOfVisibility
BY SASKI SINGER
I wonder when I became visible as a lesbian to the outside world. Was it whilst hosting at a Pride, delivering LGBTQI+ training in schools, singing on stage, becoming a mum or even cutting my hair really short?
I think it’s pretty obvious, right? Or is it?
There was a time like many of us, when I thought I would never openly say: “Hey world, I’m a lesbian”. That just filled me with fear. Fortunately now, things are different because I stopped apologising for being me.
Nowadays, when I think of lesbian visibility personally, it makes me feel united. I am out and proud, respected, I am part of society. However, when I hear about it in the media or in conversation, often it isn’t taken seriously.
Here’s a cute and innocent example of what I mean. Around this time last year, I decided to make a point of proudly informing my mum that it was Lesbian Visibility Day and her quick witted response to this was: “Yeah, I see ya?!”
Now, even though this was my mum’s attempt of cheekily showing support, it made me wonder how seriously people took me as an out and proud lesbian, especially as I’d worked darn hard over the years to not only claim that title, but to finally feel comfortable with it and own it.
This then led me to question why that was so important to me. Surely if I’m not experiencing any lesbophobia, that should be enough and I should just count my blessings and accept, that’s just the way it is, right? Wrong.
Working as an LGBTQI+ educator in schools, I often see the negative impact of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying on young people. As a result of this, I’ve supported and advised many young LBT+ woman who are desperate to be accepted in school or with friends and family and I have seen how this has positively impacted on their confidence and self esteem.
We all know historically, there has been a long list LBT+ activists who have paved the way, been a voice, and in some cases risked their lives to make change within our community and society and I salute them for their courageous work, as every step of activism moves us closer towards social justice. But just as there are the lovers, there are still the haters.
Which brings me to #LwiththeT.
No one has the right to dictate to another human being, what their sexual orientation or gender identity is. This oppression ruins lives, and that’s why I stand firmly with #LwiththeT campaign because we all deserve to be respected within society.
So, until we get to a place where all LGBTQI+ discrimination is eradicated, I will take every opportunity to stand proud and support as a role model, for anyone who doesn’t feel that they can freely “come out” yet, and to show them that it’s not just about visibility as a lesbian: it’s about knowing who you truly are in your heart and wearing it with pride, because to me, that is when we can all really be seen.
What does lesbian visibility mean to you? Join the conversation on social media @DIVAmagazine.
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