Lesbian Visibility & Culture
The word "lesbian" can bring to mind a lot of different images based on the stereotypes associated with the term.
From secret meetups in the 1950’s to the 1970’s lesbian communes to our community today, lesbians have a rich history of our own. Throughout the years, we have always embodied a sense of community and supported each other; fought for our rights and freedoms; and acted as allies both to others in the GBT2Q+ community and those from other minority communities facing oppression. Our history has not been perfect but it is one that often disappears.
Lesbian Visibility Day
Celebrated on April 26th
Created in 2008, lesbian visibility day showcases women-loving-women, providing a platform for lesbian role models to speak out on the issues facing female-identified sexual minorities.
This day, alongside all queer awareness days, are an integral part of moving towards an intersectional society where all are treated equally and fairly.
Lesbian Visibility & Culture
Lesbian Visibility Day was created in 2008, to not only celebrate women loving women but also to raise awareness on issues facing our community. Some of these issues have changed over the years but some remain the same. The bar scene was often the target of police violence, and was largely dominated by gay men. With more access to money and public space than their lesbian counterparts, gay men, while still in danger of homophobic violence, could dance, sweat, and cruise more freely. Lesbians, meanwhile, and still today, struggle under the dual burden of sexism and homophobia. They make less money than their male counterparts, and are subject to specific kinds of sexual harassment and violence.
Despite all of this, now, more than ever, it is essential that we recognize, celebrate and most importantly support lesbians across Canada to be their true selves at work, home and socially. To show that lesbians still remain true to a long history of inclusive activism and are a voice for unity that uplift ALL women especially those from marginalized communities and our trans sisters.
Used for either a lesbian who exhibits a stereotypically masculine appearance/behaviour or the person in the dominant role in a lesbian relationship.
Lesbian Community Dates
Lesbian Day of Visibility
Annually on April 26th
1st Sat July
Femme Appreciation Day
First Saturday of July
Butch Appreciation Day
A Moment in Queer History
Individuals Empowering Our Community
Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness
Lesbian Visibility In A Time Of Unspeakable Desires
In 1921, Lord Birkenhead, the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, opposed a bill that would have criminalised lesbianism on the grounds that "of every thousand women ... 999 have never even heard a whisper of these practices". Seven years later, during the summer of 1928, British author Radclyffe Hall published her novel about a lesbian relationship, bringing the subject of homosexuality into the country’s literary culture. This publication resulted in one of the most infamous trials across multiple countries as publishers fought to have the book removed for the “obscene” classification.
The Well’s trial was a crucial moment in lesbian identity and culture. The publicity increased lesbian visibility and for decades it was not only the best-known lesbian novel in English, but it was the first source of information about lesbianism that could be found. While there have been many critiques about the novel itself, it has had an undeniable impact on lesbian visibility. "There was probably no lesbian in the four decades between 1928 and the late 1960s capable of reading English or any of the eleven languages into which the book was translated who was unfamiliar with The Well of Loneliness" - Lillian Faderman, Historian.
In 1949 the book was still listed on Canada Customs' prohibited importations list but that would not stop its spread into Canada.The ban only succeeded in bringing more attention to the very subject it was intending to suppress. In fact, when the local press reported on the novel and it’s obscenity trials in the 1920s, they gave a name to what was referred to at the time as the “nameless vice between women”. One press in particular, Hush in Toronto asserted that while in the minds of a moral populace, gay sex was terrible, the idea of lesbian sex was unspeakable and unimaginable. Yet, the press succeeded in making lesbianism, speakable, imaginable and visible.
Food for Queers
Stay Safe. Not Hungry
Providing support for 2SLGBTQ+ folks experiencing food insecurities within the city of London