SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The LGBTQIA+ community, along with LGBTQIA+ supporters, celebrated International Lesbian Visibility on Monday.
It is a global awareness campaign geared towards celebrating lesbians and showing solidarity with all LGBTQIA+ women and non binary people in all communities. The origin of International Lesbian Visibility Day is unclear. Since 2008, however, the LGBTQIA+ community has been recognizing Lesbian Visibility Day each year on April 26.
The Sacramento LGBT Community Center, an organization on a mission to create a region where LGBTQ+ people thrive, celebrated International Lesbian Visibility Day by educating the public about the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as ways people can get involved in pushing the organization’s vision. That includes:
- An end to youth homelessness
- Medical care and employment opportunities for transgender people, equitable with those of cisgender white men
- No new HIV infections
- Ongoing coordination among all LGBTQ+ serving organizations
- Civic institutions where LGBTQ+ people are equitably represented and engaged
- LGBTQ+ older adults having affirming housing, long term care, and social activities where they are safe and welcome
- Sacramento Pride as the largest celebration of diversity in the region
“International Lesbian Visibility Day highlights lesbian figures in sports, entertainment, and history,” Natalie B. Fujikawa (she/her), Board President for the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, said. “It also creates a level of awareness to the segment of the LGBTQIA+ community that does not really get a lot of attention. We are not monolithic. There are AAPI lesbians, Black and Brown lesbians, and Transgender lesbians. Each facet of the lesbian community comes with its own sense of struggle and issues.”
According to the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, there are at least 13-million LGBT people age 13 and older living in the U.S. Data also shows about 5.3% of LGBT people live in California, including 24% of LGBT people with children.
PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. The PFLAG Sacramento Chapter celebrated International Lesbian Visibility Day by encouraging people to join the organization, along with other LGBT organizations, to learn more about the community year-round. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, PFLAG continues to hold safe virtual events for the public to help provide peer-to-peer support and education about LGBT issues.
“There are people who may not be able to express to others that they are a lesbian or even part of the LGBTQIA+ community,” Kay Whistler (she/her), President of PFLAG Sacramento, said. “Our visibility is important to them, especially young people. They look at older people and say ‘oh, they are able to live their life in their authenticity, and I can do that too.’ We are an example for them, and that’s important for other people to see, including people who are not in the LGBTQIA+ community. We learn by seeing other people.”
In the Greater Sacramento region, many gay advocates and LGBT organizations encouraged the public to learn more about LGBTQIA+ history and contributions to society. During International Lesbian Visibility, people were also encouraged to support local LGBT businesses and raise awareness about the LGBT community on social media using #InternationalLesbianVisibilityDay.
To learn more about International Lesbian Visibility, visit the Lesbian Visibility Week website. To learn more about how you can support the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the Sacramento area, visit the PFLAG website or Sacramento LGBT Community Center website.