MANIFESTO FOR LESBIAN VISIBILITY DAY 2023
On April 26, 2008, we took to the streets to celebrate Lesbian Visibility Day for the first time. Fifteen years later, in 2023, we continue to take to the streets to be recognized as full and legitimate individuals. The challenge remains the same: to achieve the visibility of lesbian women. Being visible means having the right to live our lives openly and freely, without fear of discrimination, violence, or ostracism. Ultimately, it means having the freedom to love and express ourselves without having to justify ourselves to anyone.
In recent years, there have been great advances in the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Historic demands have been conquered, basic rights have been consolidated, and undoubtedly, our visibility in the social sphere has increased.
Today, we are here to celebrate all of these advances, as well as to demand that invisibility and oppression that led us to the streets 15 years ago still persist. We, as women who love women, have to fight against many other invisibilities. Indeed, we are crossed by different intersections, and the Lesbian Policies Group of FELGTBI+ (to which Colors Sitges Link belongs) has the mission of making visible all the path that we still have to go through.
Thus, we can be lesbians who live in rural environments, who work in highly sexualized sectors. We can also be migrant lesbians, racialized, trans, neurodivergent, with disabilities, with non-normative bodies. And all of us, more femme or more butch, more or less activists, more or less inserted in the heteropatriarchal system, receive different types of violence.
Today is our day, and as feminist women, we cannot forget that in our society there is no full equality between men and women. Women earn 30% less in the same jobs, have much more difficulty accessing management positions, have more precarious jobs, and higher levels of unemployment than men. We continue to endure the scourge of gender violence, from here we say: Not One Less!
We continue to endure discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is a reality that we must change with the solidarity of all allied persons, those who know that equality is the best weapon to guarantee a freer and more democratic society.
We cannot overlook the Supreme Court’s ruling denying single mothers the right to double leave to raise minors on equal terms. Single-parent families need to be able to care for our children the same amount of time as two-parent families.
In society, there are also different elements that we question, we demand that family diversity be effectively introduced in classrooms, updating the pedagogical resources that are worked on in educational centers. Today is our day, and that is why we demand a public and firm commitment from institutions to support lesbian visibility, adopting the necessary measures that allow lesbians to fully develop in the workplace, educational and social environment.
We demand firmness in the application of laws so that there is no possibility of suffering labor or any type of discrimination due to our sexual orientation.
We demand that health services become aware that we are women who have sex with other women. This entails the development and proper application of gynecological protocols that take into account our reality.
We demand that studies and research be carried out that take into account the existing sexual diversity, introducing the variable of sexual orientation.
We demand easy and free access to latex barriers and other protection systems. In addition, it is necessary that they are available at affordable or free prices.
We demand campaigns for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and for the prevention of breast and uterine cancer, taking into account the specificity of lesbian women.
Today, lesbian visibility day, our day, we also want to appeal to all those lesbians who are public figures. To all lesbian women who, from the media, politics, the business world or the arts, live their lesbianism as something that must be hidden. We invite them to join us, to push the lesbian visibility bandwagon. Many have done so in recent years, and we hope that many more will be encouraged to raise their voices and become much-needed role models for future generations.
We know that there are lesbians who find it easier than others to come out of the wardrobe and make themselves visible. We encourage those in more privileged positions to come forward and say that they are lesbians. Their voices are necessary to increase our representation in the media, as well as to show the diversity that exists in our collective. We are convinced that, together, we will continue to consolidate our rights.
Today, after fifteen years of taking to the streets to make ourselves visible, we want to raise our voices especially for all those lesbian women who were at the forefront of the collective, those who were always beaten and insulted as “truckers” and “butch“.
In these years, in which the visibility of lesbian women in the media and popular culture has increased considerably, the prototype of the feminine lesbian has been imposed, creating a stereotyped and limited image of how lesbians “should be“. Everyone has their own way of expressing their gender identity and sexuality, and all ways are equally valid and respectable. We must not stereotype or prejudice people based on their physical appearance or behaviour. It is essential that we continue to work for greater representation and diversity within the community.
It is important to remember that butch lesbians, those labelled as masculine, were the first visible lesbians, and have always been present in the LGTBIQ+ community and at the forefront of all its demands. They were the first who had to face the fact that they did not fit into the heteronormative concept of “being a woman“.
We claim today, then, the dyke pen, the freedom to be for all of us, and the freedom to appropriate the insults that have been poured on us: dyke, trucker, dyke, tomboy, tomboy, lumberjack, deviant.
Today, 26 April 2023, we make these words a big flag to be proudly displayed.
Long live the dyke pen, long live the V of VisibLes.
Video of the CSL women’s group to commemorate 26A.