Lesbian Visibility Week 2024

The Lesbian Pride flag, featuring seven coloured stripes in shades of orange, pi
The Lesbian Pride flag, featuring seven coloured stripes in shades of orange, pink and white
22-28 April marks Lesbian Visibility Week, a week to raise the visibility of lesbians worldwide. Our range of key resources including networks and support is introduced with a foreword from Sofia Gradoni, a member of the Ioe LGBTQ+ Advisory Group.

Foreword from Sofia Gradoni from the Ioe LGBTQ+ Advisory Group 

Who doesn’t love Lesbian Visibility Week? Let’s get some more Suranne Jones TV shows rolling out! While this is light humoured, the truth is that having TV shows like Vigil , which normalise a lesbian relationship and family life, is of vital importance. I have recently been invited to join the UCL LGBTQ+ Advisory Group. My motivation for joining was to help promote the family aspect of the LGBTQ+ community. As a lesbian mum of two, I feel the need to speak openly about my family and the journey of how I got here to help encourage others in my position to feel that their story is valid (and that they can bore people to tears about their children as much as anyone else does!)

At UCL I have experienced nothing but an open and convivial environment, without exception, and feel that I can speak freely. However, this was not always the case. I spent most of my early 20’s working in finance, feeling confused and too nervous to ever fully pursue a lesbian relationship - until it became overwhelmingly difficult to ignore. Following that internal revelation, I spent the rest of my 20’s chasing the same types of unavailable players as I had always done. Then one day I met my wife, who was actually nice! In fact, I met her because I was at a Lesbian event at Soho House and a woman approached to ask me ’why I thought I had the right to be there’. I was so taken aback by this abrasive hostility that I sat down in shock. My wife happened to be sitting there, she then calmly helped me get over it. We eventually got married, and had various trials and tribulations in order to conceive two gorgeous girls. They both attend our local Catholic Primary School, and I’m sure to most people’s surprise that has been one of the most welcoming and embracing places I have ever seen. The school said that we were the first lesbian couple to be parents there - sadly, I fear that means we were the first lesbian couple who felt they could be open about it.

In my opinion, change within the lesbian community is not simply about encouraging everyone else to accept us but it’s also about change from within. Feeling comfortable enough to know that you are deserving of the right to be here, just as you are, helps the community as a whole. 

Anyone who feels they can relate to my story is more than welcome to reach out for a confidential chat if you need it. 

Networks and resources 

UCL’s LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group is open to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer staff and those interested in promoting LGBTQ+ equality at UCL, and also steers the Out@UCL staff social network. 

Students’ Union UCL’s LGBTQ+ Network is run by and for students. The Network aims to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or any other marginalised gender or sexual identities, including but not limited to asexual, queer, and intersex students. 

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing have listed information and support for LGBTQ+ students. 

The Lesbian Visibility Week website lists a range of events taking place in 2024. 

The Stonewall website includes a range of articles and stories about lesbian visibility and representation for Lesbian Visibility Week 2024.
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