On 17th May annually, we take time globally to observe and address International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
It aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. By 2016 the commemorations had taken place in over 130 countries. - google
As I thought about this year, it raised a question for me, given where I am on my sexuality journey now that my gender journey is complete.
After my 'coming out', I focused on the mountain of knowledge I had to learn about my gender journey, so I never thought about my sexuality. After I was legally separated a few years later and subsequently divorced, I started to think about dating again, or should I say for the first time again. It had been over 30 years since I dated, and I was starting over as a woman.
I began by trying to date gay men, and they said I was too much of a girl. Since I was still pre-surgery when I tried dating lesbians, they said I wasn't a woman enough. So I ended up dating straight men. The struggle to define my sexuality moved from heterosexual to pansexual during this time until I met a fantastic woman post-surgery. As I drifted from Pansexual to Pan-Lesbian, I decided to stop playing with the labels and take ownership of simply being queer. Being queer for me allows me the freedom to be fluid in my sexuality without the label concern.
That brings me to today as I look at IDAHOBIT and wonder where is the 'L'.
I was reading a 2021 article in Diva Magazine by Linda Riley that asked the same question. You can read their article https://diva-magazine.com/2021/04/30/why-we-need-to-add-the-l-to-idahobit/
I felt, as a feminist, that the sentence indicating that Lesbianphobia is seen as a subset of homophobia was incorrect. Putting women as a subset of men again was patriarchal and sexist. So here is why we need to put the 'L' into IDAHOBIT.
Here are some of the ways that lesbians have positively contributed to the LGBT+ movement:
Lesbians have been at the forefront of the fight for LGBT+ rights since the movement's early days. They were among the first to organize and demand equality and remain active leaders in the fight for justice.
They have made significant contributions to the development of LGBT+ theory and activism. They have helped to shape the way we understand LGBT+ identity and experience, and they have developed innovative strategies for fighting for equality.
Lesbians have been instrumental in building and sustaining LGBT+ communities. They have created spaces where LGBT+ people can feel safe and supported and have worked to create a more inclusive and welcoming world for all.
They have positively impacted the lives of LGBT+ people around the world. Their activism has helped to change laws and attitudes and made a real difference in the lives of LGBT+ people.
Here are some specific examples of the ways that lesbians have contributed to the LGBT+ movement:
Stonewall Riots: The Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York City, which are widely considered to be the beginning of the modern LGBT+ rights movement, were primarily led by queer people of colour, including many lesbians. In the 1960s and 1970s, lesbians were at the forefront of the fight for LGBT+ rights. They organized protests, lobbied politicians, and started businesses and organizations that served the LGBT+ community.
In the 1980s and 1990s, lesbians continued to be at the forefront of the fight for LGBT+ rights. They led the fight against AIDS and worked to repeal anti-sodomy laws and ban discrimination in the workplace and other areas of life for LGBTQ+ people.
In the 2000s and 2010s, lesbians have remained active leaders in the fight for LGBT+ rights. They have worked to legalize same-sex marriage and adopt children, fighting for transgender rights and other issues.
Feminism: Many lesbians have been active in feminist movements, working towards equality for women and promoting a broader understanding of gender roles and identities. This has positively impacted the LGBT+ movement by challenging traditional ideas about sexuality and gender.
Overall, lesbians have made significant and ongoing contributions to the LGBT+ movement, and their work has helped advance the cause of equality and acceptance for all community members.
So as someone who took 48 years to learn the language and 50 years to develop the courage to say them. Join me in asking the folks at IDAHOBIT to include the 'L'.