Saturday (23 September) is Bi Visibility Day. You might be wondering why a day has been set aside to celebrate this rather specific sexual orientation. Let me explain…
Lesbian Visibility Week started in Western California before being brought to the UK and promoted by the Diva media group four years ago to counter the marginalisation of lesbians in general and help counter the myth that there was any generalised conflict between cis-gendered lesbians and trans women.
Most people quite naturally find themselves surrounded by people who are very much like themselves. We are attracted to people who we feel are similar to us, people who make us feel comfortable and safe. The only trouble with this is that much of life lies beyond our direct experience, which makes it difficult to empathise.
Happily, there are films, documentaries, novels, and more fun media that let us vicariously experience what might be like to be someone other than ourselves. We have put together reading lists that comprise materials that make it quick and easy to find novels, films and more by and about socially disadvantaged groups, from people of the global ethnic majority, LGBTQ+ people, members of the Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller community so it is that much easier for you to expand your horizons from the safety and comfort of your armchair.
I never thought I would be quoting the eponymous Urban Dictionary but one of the phrases recently added draws attention to how often we make unwarranted assumptions about other people: Schrödinger’s Queer. The term describes a person (usually in the public domain, a celebrity) about whose sexual orientation nothing is known, and argues that until evidence emerges like they marry someone or appear with romantic partners in public, no assumptions can safely be made about their sexuality. Like the eponymous unstable caesium atom in Schrödinger’s original thought experiment, we cannot know whether it has decayed (killing the cat) or not until we open the box and see whether the cat is alive or dead. Until the evidence presents itself, we are left with uncomfortable uncertainty.
Lauded by LGBTQ+ celebrities from activist Peter Tatchell to author Patrick Gale, the book includes a diverse range of perspectives and topics from a historian’s perspective on the scarcity of recorded LGBTQ+ history to a summary of local newspaper representation of LGBTQ+ issues over the past 120 years, a celebration of the Island’s leading LGBTQ+ heroes and heroines over the past century, as well as critical discussions of the development and impact of the infamous Section 28 and of suicide amongst LGBTQ+ people, pairing factual historical and journalistic research with reflections on personal experience and verbatim oral history extracts from the residents of the Isle of Wight.
Today is Trans Day of Visibility – a day to celebrate your trans colleagues, friends and family. It is also a protest against the systemic discrimination our most vulnerable citizens face: a call for all those not threatened by society …
Ending LGBTQ+ History Month on a high note, here’s a colourful little video offering a potted history of LGBT history in four and a half minutes.
Happy Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week! With the commercial focus all year round, and in particular around Valentine’s Day (14 February each year), it is easy to overlook the vast spectrum of people who are sexually attracted to anyone much less …