Can You See Me? The Importance of Lesbian Visibility
My name is Geraldine Joosten and I am a lesbian. Who there did I scare you? You must have thought that lesbians were mythical creatures sometimes talked about and never seen.
Recently I have felt more and more invisible in the world. Lesbians these days seem ignored and forgotten about. Where are we these days? Has the world forgotten about us?
Being a journalist and writer I decided to do research into these issues and find out if other lesbians felt the same they did. So much so it was decided that there should be a book on this issue.
Inspired by the amazing lesbian essay books of the 1990’s and the fact that there are many amazing bloggers and writers out there whom all have their own views on the issue, it quickly became clear that the book on Lesbian (in)visibility should be an essay driven project.
It asks the question many lesbians have been asking in the last few years: “WHERE ARE WE?”
Where are we in the media, in TV shows, in the news in LGTB projects, at Gay Prides, on the work floor?
Why are lesbians so invisible? Why are the 2 stereotypes (male sex fantasy or unwanted fat screaming angry dyke) still how we are seen?
How this lack of visibility affects us: Who are the icons out there for us? Does it make it harder for girls to find themselves without many easily accessible role models? Why is there such a disbalance between lesbian and gay visibility on TV, the media and the magazines. Why are gay men more accepted (in TV shows, films, articles in the media. Why do people automatically think of/talk about gay men when the issue of gay rights are brought up? Why do celebrities only link themselves to the male gay rights organisations?) Why do people still think that lesbians can’t have “proper” sex. Why is it still allowed to insult lesbians on TV shows/in the media? Why are bi girls hip and lesbians not.
Have we worked hard enough for our right to be seen? Has feminism helped us or held us back?
What should we do? What do we need?
Several girls from all over the world will write an essay about what this means to them, what they are missing, what do they want to change and how has it affected them. As it is all aspects of lesbian visibility everyone can bring their own take, talk about their own feelingsregarding lesbian visibility. It’s open to many interpretations and they are all valid.
We are still in talks with publishers -but it is certain the book will be out mid next year. We want the book to have a universal feel so it will speak to lesbians from New York to Berlin, from LA to the Netherlands.
We are still looking for more women to be involved in this.
Are you a blogger, writer or simply inspired to join in? Or do you have an opinion you feel should be included? You are welcome to get involved in any way.
Lots of love,