According to the organization Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB), one LGBTQ+ person is killed every 19 hours in Brazil. The data might even be bigger than that, because hate crimes are often dismissed in government’s official statistics about violence, and shows the cruel reality of the community in the country. But, when we’re speaking about minorities groups, even inside those there are smaller ones, the “forgotten letters”: “L” (for lesbians) and “B” (for bisexuals), that look for visibility and representativity in the society as a whole.
Image Source: Tumblr/queergraffiti.tumblr.com
Lesbian and bisexual women suffer, mostly, for more than one aspect in their experience: besides being LGBTQ+, they are, among all, women. By that they consequently have to deal with the sexism settled in our society and how its tolls to prejudice the feminine.
The attempts to invisibilize women in the LGBTQ+ movement is significant, and sometimes only a consequence of misogyny. You can hear about the LGBTQ+ Parade as the “Gay Parade”, as if the other “letters” of the group aren’t there, isolating and dividing a big and diverse community. Women’s fight, in this case, is for protagonism inside (and outside) the queer movement.
Their invisibility is symbolic and politic. By asking the not-so-naive question “how do women have sex with each other?” the denial of relationships between two women is clear, revealing how deep heterosexual rules are rooted in our society, and more than that: it negates the existence of female’s sexuality and affection.
The negligence towards the lesbian and bisexual condition guides to severe effects also in the health aspect, by not having professionals that know and understand contagious diseases, prevention methods, and more demands involving it. There is a lack of public policies around the theme, especially because there aren’t a lot of official data about the LGBTQ+ community in general, even less when we’re talking about this specific group.
Image Source: pinback, Wimmin for Womyn, New York City
But, when women’s sexuality are considered “valid”, there are other problems in consequence. Lesbian porn is often made to satisfy men’s pleasure, fetichizing their relations and exposing their sexuality. Because of that, they are hipersexualized and can be turned into a male’s fantasy, reducing all the community to simply “just sex”.
The consequences of that are sexual harassment, violation, rape and the increase of lesbian and bisexual women’s objectification. Acceptance doesn’t appear with that fact, and this minority continues to suffer from a lot of different violences that come from breaking the heterosexual pattern in society.
This fight needs more visibility so that lesbian and bisexual women can exist and live their lives fully, being themselves and representing how diverse people are. In a lesbophobic society, loving women is revolutionary and requires resistance, especially when you are challenging and fighting the status quo in it.