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Lesbian Visibility Week and supporting Mental Health

By Chloe Hall

Lesbian Visibility Week begins on Monday 22nd April. It was first held in 2020. Now in its fifth year, its message is as important as ever. The week is intended to celebrate progress made by, and for, members of the lesbian community. But it also aims to raise awareness further across society in this country and around the world. It remains vital that LGBTQIA+ women from all sections of society continue to be respected and heard by everyone around them. Such genuine acknowledgement helps to ensure that people can lead their lives in an authentic and fulfilling manner. 

That said, there remains a great deal of ignorance and prejudice which needs to be tackled. Hence this year’s theme is ‘the power of sisterhood’. One goal is to acknowledge that the lesbian community is comprised of countless amazing individuals who collectively form a powerful and vital movement. There will be inspiring stories told of remarkable women from all parts of the world. 

Of the many concerns aired by the organising body, one raises the issue of visibility in the workplace. Many women from the LGBTQIA+ community still feel anxious when it comes to being open about their sexuality at work. This can all too easily undermine self-esteem and confidence, quickly leading to feelings of anxiety and depression. Mental health issues like these can undermine anyone’s wellbeing. Ultimately a loss of self-esteem also makes it much more likely that women will miss out on promotion opportunities. Yet an inappropriate workplace culture which allows lesbian erasure to impact on colleagues is not simply destructive to individuals. As a consequence, businesses are very likely to become less efficient and successful. This is because low self-esteem is inextricably linked to lower productivity, poor motivation, and poor concentration. 

And so, it is imperative that managers foster a supportive and harmonious workplace culture in which people can contribute and collaborate in a supportive and respectful environment: essentially businesses need to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and can naturally thrive. That sounds like a very reasonable expectation for all employees. 

There can be little doubt that hearing accounts of other women’s circumstances and success stories can be truly affirming for those who continue to face discrimination and negative attitudes as they go about their everyday lives. It is hoped that many more women will feel encouraged that they too can find the confidence to speak out and present themselves as they would like. That is certainly a further important aim of this year’s visibility week. 

One showcase event on Friday 26th April is the DIVA awards. The ceremony celebrates some remarkable people who have supported women from the LGBTQIA+ community over the past thirty years. These individuals have promoted and advocated for the community across the corporate world, the media, and the political sphere. Nominees tirelessly strive for inclusion, diversity, and sincere acceptance.

It is still the case that Lesbian Visibility Week is the sole national event that celebrates LGBTQIA+ women. And it is sorely needed. Even in today’s supposedly liberal and inclusive society, there remain embedded starkly divisive issues such as the gender pay gap, sex discrimination, and violence against women. Prejudices and ignorance about sexuality, race, and disability all conspire to leave some women feeling unheard and unseen or, out of desperation, preferring to be unheard and unseen. Homophobic and transphobic attitudes are still surprisingly commonplace. 

Inevitably this means that when it comes to sexuality, women can resort to suppressing personal anxiety and struggles. This named week empowers people to stand up to inequalities and promote fresh insight and appreciation which will hopefully prove psychologically liberating for many people, whatever their sexuality. Creating opportunities for open minded discussion and space for personal reflection is essential to help people come together and stand up confidently. This year’s Lesbian Visibility Week will help to ensure that such opportunities are there for all. 


For Lesbian Visibility Week please visit:

There is plenty of online advice about mental wellbeing including anxiety, depression and self-esteem. If you or someone you know is finding things difficult, please visit the following websites:  

HFEH Mind:

Young Minds:

The NHS:

Posted on: 18th April 2024

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