However, what is always forgotten: “Nevertheless, there were always lesbian and queer women who were also activists and played a key role in shaping queer history.” Julia addresses the film “Stonewall” by Roland Emmerich, in which the story of Stonewall is based on white, gay men are told; Women who were involved at the time were completely ignored. This is also an example of how much history is negated by lesbian women.
The myth of why lesbian women are at the forefront of the LGBTQIA+ community
One story has been handed down over and over again: the lesbian and gay communities were still extremely separate in the 1980s. Both were active activists, but not united. The AIDS crisis changed that. While gay men were dying from the disease in droves and the government was doing nothing, lesbian women were there to help. To honor this commitment, at least according to some sources, the acronym GLBT was introduced in LGBT changed.
Julia also sees a change in queer history: “It showed how much the different communities can stick together by showing solidarity and supporting each other. Gay Community Centers were then also renamed Gay and Lesbian Centers.”
Is it still important to have the “L” first these days?
Surprisingly, Julia isn’t so sure anymore. “Fortunately, there aren’t just ‘L’ and ‘G’ in the acronym,” explains Julia. “Trans* people in particular are subject to even more discrimination than cis people. In addition, one must also look at the experiences of non-white, refugee, queer people who experience yet another form of discrimination.”
Julia emphasizes that there is nothing wrong with the “L” coming first: “But it’s more important to look at the individual parts of the acronym and cater to their individual needs.” It is clear that it is not the one LGBTQIA+ experience. That’s why “you have to ask yourself how you can support each other within the community, with the privileges you have,” says Julia.
The fight for equality for lesbian women is far from finished. Lesbian women still suffer greatly from systematic discrimination, that is, discrimination exercised through legislation. Since, for example, both partners in a relationship are affected by the gender pay gap, the risk of poverty in old age is greater for lesbian couples.
How visible are queer people, especially lesbian women, really?
We come to Pride Month and the always controversial “Rainbow” or “Pink Wash”where companies only show themselves with rainbow flags in Pride Month.
“The fact that in capitalism money can now be made with queer-friendliness instead of hate is a good, albeit strange, sign,” says Julia. Gay men in management positions are often a figurehead for companies. Nevertheless, the question arises: “How visible are queer people really in companies? We’re seeing more gay men in leadership positions now, but where are the lesbian women?”
Not only in society, but also within their own community, lesbian women are invisible. “The view of the queer community is still shaped by a view of gay men.” Even at the CSD (Christopher Street Day – also simply called “Pride Parade”), it is often just the “Gay Parade” written. The flagship are drag queens. Being clear, colorful and loud is important at Pride, but lesbian women often get lost.