Meet 100 lesbians changing the game for women-loving-women
BY DIVA STAFF. ILLUSTRATION BY KATE HOLDERNESS
It’s finally here! The first ever Lesbian Visibility Week. The week itself, running from Monday 20 April until Sunday 26 April (Lesbian Visibility Day) is made up of a whole host of wonderful, visibility-focused events, one of the pillars of which has to be the Visible Lesbian 100.
Designed to highlight women who have made great strides for the LGBTQI+ community generally, but women-loving women in particular. Women who are shaping our culture and who, through their incredible work – whether in sport, music, business or politics – lift up those in our community who are most marginalised.
A word on visibility…
Visibility, of course, is hard to quantify or define. It means different things to different people. For some, it is banging the drum of change loudly and without apology. For others, their visibility is quiet and without ceremony. But all of the women on these pages have, in some way, made it a little easier for us all to come out, stay out, and express ourselves freely, and that’s why, unlike other lists, this one is not ranked.
Each of these women’s achievements are of equal importance, and worthy of equal celebration. While largely UK-focussed, eagle-eyed readers will note there are actually 110 women here – acknowledging an extra 10 whose achievements cross borders and continents.
At a time when some would claim that lesbians are being “besieged by society and sidelined within the LGBT community” by trans people, these women demonstrate that the L is with the T, not in opposition to it. Side by side and hand in hand.
As we have written previously, the only threat to lesbian identities is those who believe “lesbian” is for them alone to define, and seek to exclude anyone who doesn’t fit their gender-essentialist view of what it means to be a lesbian. That kind of narrow, prejudiced thinking, we believe, means that fewer and fewer women-loving women feel comfortable claiming a lesbian identity.
Reclaim, celebrate and shout out loud
For those frustrated by this kind of toxic thinking, we hope you can take heart from the women on the Visible Lesbian 100. These women are emblematic of what it means to be a lesbian in 2020. They are open-hearted, accepting, tenacious and talented, and show that lesbian is not a label to be ashamed of, but one to reclaim, celebrate and shout about.
Find out more about the first ever Lesbian Visibility Week, 20-26 April 2020, at lesbianvisibilityweek.com
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