Today we celebrate Lesbian Visibility Day! This event, recognises, celebrates, and supports lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer women across the UK and beyond.
It’s a chance to focus on the ‘L’ of ‘LGBT+, looking at history that got us to where we are today, the present triumphs in progress, and what can be done to ensure there is full equality and acceptance. All members of the lesbian community should be recognised, including those that are non-binary, transgender, and from marginalised communities.
Mental Health Challenges
There is not always an awareness of the difficulties that lesbians can face. For example, there is still prejudice and misunderstanding, as well as sexist prejudice which can negatively impact mental health.
Research has shown that gay women are almost twice as unlikely to be out in the workplace as gay male colleagues. The word ‘lesbian’ can be uncomfortable for people to use or can be used as a joke or an insult. Moreover, Film and television, particularly reality tv, are still behind on representation, or accurate representation, of lesbian relationships. The media, can portray them as being over sexualised, for the benefit of the straight male audience.
The pressure of coming out or keeping identity and relationships hidden can take a toll on mental health, with worry about not meeting expectations and fear of prejudice and homophobia.
There can be a sense of shame felt about having feelings of attraction for the same gender, or confusion and guilt. Additionally, it can be lonely and isolating, particularly in young people.
Having supportive people around you who accept your sexual identity can have a huge positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. There is great positivity to be found in realising this is who I love, and this is who I am. I’m not alone in how I feel and there are others who are just like me.
We support Dorset Mind in spreading the word, to look after your mental wellbeing. Be kind to yourself, recognise your self-worth and if you are struggling, find support for your mental health/wellbeing.
In summary, lesbians are valid, important, and completely deserving of respect and acceptance!
Our Guest Blogger
Huge thanks to our guest blogger Katie from Space Youth Project. Space Youth Project is a Dorset Charity, providing support and young groups for LGBT+ young people. Visit their website to find out more.
Dorset Mind run an LGBT+ group for aged 18+, MindOut is a safe, confidential, and accepting space for LGBT people experiencing mental health issues. It offers recovery-based peer and staff support.
Find additional support and useful resources for young people up to 25yrs by visiting Dorset Mind Your Head: LGBTQ+ and Mental Health ⋆ DMYH Dorset Mind Your Head