Connect with community this Lesbian Visibility Week

This week is International Lesbian Visibility Week, launching April 26 with Lesbian Visibility Day.

Celebrated since 2008, the occasion is an opportunity to mark the achievements of LGBTQIA+ women and gender diverse people who feel an affinity with a lesbian identity.

Moving beyond representation in media and on screen, Australia’s peak body for queer health LGBTIQ+ Health Australia say visibility is crucial to health and wellbeing.

“Being seen – often quite literally – can foster identity affirmation and a sense of self-worth,” LGBTIQ+ Health Australia said in a statement.

Pointing to poorer health outcomes of LBTQIA+ women and non-binary people, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia note that 49% of queer women between 16 and 71 had received a diagnosis of a mental health disorder, while just 1% had reported being treated for such disorders in the last three years.

“This isn’t just the case for media representation but is equally important in the areas of health (physical and mental) and community services. It’s crucial that lesbians are represented in these areas and experience ‘affirmative visibility’ in order to feel comfortable and safe accessing care, support and resources.”

The organisation also emphasises the importance of including all women and gender diverse people in all aspects of life, from service provision to health care to community events.

“Lesbians can identify many different ways, they can be cisgender women, trans women, non-binary, gender non-conforming, intersex and many more.”

“For a number of reasons there is not a lot of data available on these intersections which can increase people’s vulnerability and invisibility but it is important to note the different ways lesbians might identify.”

According to the Private Lives 3 survey, Australia’s largest survey of LGBTQIA+ lives, lesbians make up 20.5% of Australia’s LGBTQIA+ community. Further, 41% of cisgender women who responded to the survey were lesbians, while 34% of trans women and 9.2% of non-binary folks also used the term.

UK advocacy organisations DIVA and Stonewall are celebrating the week by providing a central point for international online events that can be accesses from around the globe.

Some of the still-expanding program’s highlights include the DIVA Talks series, a roundtable discussion on neurodivergence & queerness, ‘herstory’ project Last Butch Lesbian Bars and Don’t Be A Drag, Just Be A King: Lesbian Visibility on the Drag Scene.

For more information on these events, head to lesbianvisibilityweek.com


Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / qlife.org.au (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGED[email protected]discharged.org.au
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au


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