Today is Lesbian Visibility Day, a good day to remember that the “L” in “LGBTQ” is probably the least celebrated and visible of all those ever-expanding letters. The reason for that isn’t hard to identify: lesbians are women. They challenge the root of patriarchy, heterosexist notions of “family,” and porn culture, simply by existing. How much more threatening does it get?
Alas, these days, more and more women are choosing the the vague “queer” label instead of the more overt, woman-specific “lesbian,” leading to what Jocelyn Macdonald calls “the opposite of a critical mass.” Perhaps this is because they are told lesbianism is an old-fashioned relic of the “gender binary,” and that aversion to penis is bigoted. (Compulsory heterosexuality, you are a wily old bastard!) We, as a culture, love to congratulate ourselves on our liberal “acceptance” and “inclusivity” of various marginalized identities, but refuse to even feign interest in lesbians (unless, of course, they are pornified for male titillation…) In this uber-progressive intersectional utopia liberals pretend we are living in, we are seeing a loss of lesbian spaces and attacks on lesbian culture. The lesbian is being rendered invisible — even actively erased.
As the category of “woman” itself is being eroded into nothingness, it’s pivotal we remind ourselves that all that is covered in glitter is not gold. LGBTQ is no less co-optable, under captalism and neoliberalism, than anything else, and it’s no coincidence that our individualistic, Americentric culture has chosen to center superficial, narcissistic, sexualized identities over the women who are actually challenging and fighting the status quo, day in and day out.
Today is a great day to make lesbians visible, but so is every other day. The foundations of the feminist movement are not in the famous women propped up by American media, but in the everyday lesbians who have worked tirelessly and courageously in this movement, without any concern for men’s precious feelings.
Here are some of our favorite shameless celebrations of lesbians we saw online today:
— Untameable Shrews (@untamableshrews) April 26, 2017
— The Lesbian Mafia (@TheLesbianMafia) April 26, 2017
Happy #LesbianVisibilityDay to all my former Air Bnb hosts with one room, one bed studios, who wished me a lovely holiday with my friend
— Sophie Gadd (@sophie_gadd) April 26, 2017