Tuesday, April 26 marks the 14th annual Lesbian Visibility Day, which is dedicated to celebrating and uplifting those who share the lesbian identity, as well as to show solidarity with LGBTQIA+ women and non-binary people.
The University of Connecticut’s Rainbow Center tabled in the Student Union on April 26 to raise student awareness for Lesbian Visibility Day, welcoming students to discuss the significance of the day and share other resources the Rainbow Center offers. Pins, wristbands and pamphlets were available for students to take. Both allies and members of the community were welcome to stop by for items and information.
According to one of the flyers that Rainbow Center staff provided, the event spread the message that “Lesbian Visibility Day is a voice for unity and lifts up lesbians, especially those who come from marginalized communities.”
“I feel like [awareness days] are really important to give awareness to those in the communities,” said Rhys Moskowitz, a Rainbow Center student staff member. “It gives people who are out and comfortable a way to say, ‘Here I am, we exist.”
Other days that celebrate different parts of the LGBTQIA+ community include Asexuality Awareness Day and Trans Day of Visibility. The Rainbow Center holds events for these days as well.
Lesbian Visability Day was first established in 2008, originating in the United States. It has since gained more notice and is now celebrated in several other countries as well.
According to founders of Lesbian Visibility Week — April 25 to May 1 — Lesbian Visibility Day and other awareness events were established to recognize the overlooked contributions and achievements of queer women and nonbinary people, which has been the case throughout history, both within the LGBTQIA+ community and in mainstream society. In particular, women of color have gone uncredited and unrecognized for their significant roles in the movement against discrimination and toward equality for the LGBTQIA+ community, advocates explain.
In addition, the “Pride Matters” survey from 2018 has shown “gay women are almost twice as unlikely to be out in the workplace as gay male colleagues.” Other studies have found higher rates of anxiety and depression, as well as other mental illnesses, within the lesbian community (when compared to heterosexual women), largely due to additional stress in the teen years. Research like this shows that although significant progress has been made in terms of visibility and non-discrimination within the community, there is still a long way to go, demonstrating the importance of uplifting queer women and nonbinary people.
Lesbian Visibility Day is considered a stepping stone towards full acknowledgement and visibility. Having a day to celebrate and uplift lesbians, especially the most marginalized members of the community, is one part of the path to achieving full appreciation and acceptance, members of the community have expressed.
To learn more about Lesbian Visibility Day and get involved with the queer community on campus, students can visit the Rainbow Center in the Student Union, and look out for more events hosted in recognition and appreciation for the LGBTQIA+ community.