European media group Diva marks Lesbian Visibility Week
DIVA Media Group has launched Lesbian Visibility Week in the UK to celebrate lesbians, as well as to show solidarity with every woman in the LGBTQ community around the world.
The digital initiative of the London-based leading LGBTQ media group in Europe runs from April 20 to 26. There has been a Lesbian Visibility Day around the world since 2008, and this is observed on April 26.
Lesbian Visibility Week: Need for support
On their website, the organizers said: “It is essential that Lesbian Visibility Week is a voice for unity and lifts up ALL women, especially those who come from marginalized communities.”
“Building on this, we want to create a week that recognizes, celebrates and importantly supports lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer women across the UK and beyond to be their true selves at work, at home and socially,” they said.
They further cited data that “gay women are almost twice as unlikely to be out in the workplace as gay male colleagues.”
To start the week, they launched the Visible Lesbian 100 list, which cited prominent UK and US lesbians in business, arts and entertainment, sports, and activism.
There will also be online panels and seminars on work, wellness, and other topics. Well-known speakers in the community will likewise be featured on Zoom, YoutTube, and other platforms.
US group supports Lesbian Visibility Week
Linda Riley, publisher of Diva magazine, said it’s important that “lesbians remain a visible part of the LGBTQI community and receive the recognition and celebration we deserve.”
Among the event’s supporters in the US is GLAAD, the LGBTQ media monitoring organization.
“Growing up, it was so rare for me to see lesbian women who were successful, accepted, and living out and proud,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a press release.
“Today, visibility of lesbian women, both transgender and cisgender, still remains strikingly low,” Ellis said, adding that, “it’s so important to celebrate the beautiful diversity of the LGBTQ community.”
Diva had also gathered corporate supporters of the initiative, like Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, L’Oréal, Getty Images, and Kantar.
The problem of lesbian visibility in ads
Having corporate sponsorship for the event is a critical point, given that even that the word “lesbian” appears on negative keyword lists used by ad professionals to ensure brand safety.
Diva is hoping to change all of this by convincing brands to increase support for queer women.
Riley told Adweek: “I once opened a magazine [called] ‘Out in the City’ for LGBTQI men, and despite [Diva] already being a hugely successful and established women’s brand, people would pay double rates for an advert in the unknown male brand.”
“Brands are more reluctant to cover LGBTQI women because of myths that we just don’t have the money,” she added.
Diva’s partnership director Polly Shute said, “The LGBTQ networks [at brands] are usually run by men. Gay men usually want to sponsor things they can go to, so it’s been really difficult to get sponsorship for women’s events.”