Lesbian Visibility Day … and more news

News

Lesbian Visibility Day – 26 April 2020

Lesbian Visibility Day, now embedded in the international LGBT+ calendar, is a celebration of the world’s diverse lesbian community.

Held on 26th April every year, Lesbian Visibility Day showcases women-loving-women, providing a platform for lesbian role models to speak out on the issues facing female sexual minorities.

The origins of the day remain mysterious, but it has been running since 2008. Having initially started in the US, Lesbian Visibility Day – thanks to the wonders of the worldwide web – is now celebrated internationally.

Last year to mark the occasion, Out In The City visited Shibden Hall (Anne Lister’s house) in Halifax. Lister is often called “the first modern lesbian” for her clear self-knowledge and openly lesbian lifestyle. Called “Fred” by her lover and “Gentleman Jack” by Halifax residents, she suffered harassment for her sexuality, but recognised her similarity to the Ladies of Llangollen, whom she visited.

This year, due to socially isolating, we recommend that you watch the “Invisible Women” documentary. On Facebook go to the Invisible Women page. Visit the Shop and you can buy the film for £4.99.

“Invisible Women” is a 25 minutes long documentary exploring the untold story of the North West’s LGBTQ past over the last 50 years through two women’s incredible journey, rebellion and activism.

Angela Cooper and Luchia Fitzgerald have spent the last half a century fighting for their rights as women and as lesbians.

Their work has revolutionised Manchester whilst transforming the lives of thousands of women and yet no record of them exists in the city’s archives; theirs is a story that risked disappearing from history. Until now.

Manchester, 1969: Luchia, a teenage Lesbian runaway from Ireland struggles to survive on the streets of Manchester. She’s arrested and sent for a lobotomy to cure her of her “deviant sexual tendencies”. Luchia escapes the lobotomy to seek solace in the New Union, a pub at the epicentre of Manchester’s underground gay community.

Luchia is at her lowest ebb when she hears a female student at the next table giving voice to every frustration she felt; Luchia pulls up a chair to listen. That student was Angela and this chance encounter sparked a relationship that has endured fifty years of euphoric highs and earth-shattering lows.

To reduce plastic and postage costs the film will be sent to you as a high res link ready to view as and when you please for the rest of time.

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In the last posting we reported that some of the biggest names in Manchester’s drag scene have collaborated with drag performers from around the world to raise money for Age UK.

Courtney Act and Cheddar Gorgeous in the video

The Quarantine Queens have raised £1,825 (so far). How good is that!!

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Alex from Manchester Pride sent the following message:

Just a quick one to let you know that the Online Consultation is live. I’d really appreciate it if you could share it within your networks.

Manchester Pride Online Consultation

The Online Consultation covers all things Manchester Pride and will be an invaluable tool in helping us develop all of our programmes to better represent, support and celebrate our wonderful LGBTQ+ communities.

The consultation is for all LGBTQ+ people living in Greater Manchester to better understand the community’s needs.

We’re also holding Listening Groups which will be an opportunity for individuals from further marginalised communities to interact with the Manchester Pride team and provide a safe space for them to share how they feel about the LGBTQ+ community in Manchester.

Manchester Pride Listening Groups 

These groups will be an opportunity for us to better understand how we can improve our support for the community throughout the year and improve visibility for marginalised groups and people.

Thanks in advance for your support with this! I hope you’re staying safe and staying proud!

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Brew buddies wanted as crisis calls double to LGBT Foundation in lockdown – Talking About My Generation

The LGBT Foundation is urging people to sign up as brew buddies for its new befriending service to support vulnerable people living alone across Greater Manchester during the Coronavirus lockdown.

The launch of the Rainbow Brew Buddies telephone befriending scheme comes after the charity experienced a doubling of calls to their crisis helpline. The service will help people get together for a chat and a brew over the phone at least once a week for around 30 minutes.

The charity is now urging people to sign up to volunteer with Rainbow Brew Buddies.

Pauline has already signed up to volunteer. She said: “I wanted to become a brew buddy as it offers something to any LGBT person of whatever age who feels lonely during the current Covid-19 crisis.

“As an older trans woman of 72, who lives alone, I am aware how this “lockdown” can make anyone feel totally alone and down, and I think that speaking to the same person over the phone for 30 minutes every week will help a great deal.

“Just being able to chat with someone who listens is a great boost. And I am so lucky to have family and friends that I can speak with every week on the phone; this is my way of giving back and reaching out to offer support to those who are less fortunate than me. Will it make a difference – yes.”

The service will be prioritising those from LGBT communities in Greater Manchester who are most socially isolated, and are most impacted by restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 outbreak, such as older people, those who are without close family and friends to reach out to, disabled people, those on low income or who have been made redundant and those on the UK Government Vulnerable People list.

Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation, said: “We can all agree that a chat over a brew is one of life’s greatest simple pleasures, but not everyone always has someone to do this with regularly.

“Connecting with others is a crucial part of your wellbeing, and we want to ensure that every LGBT person feels a connection to someone in their community.

“Our message with Rainbow Brew Buddies is simple – no LGBT person should feel that they are alone.

“Through Rainbow Brew Buddies, those who are feeling particularly isolated at this time can know that there is always someone that is just a phone call away for a cup of tea, a check-in and a chat. It is vital every single LGBT person knows that you are not alone, that LGBT Foundation loves you and that we are still here if you need us. I strongly encourage you to reach out and join our scheme, where you will find a listening ear and someone who will always be there for you.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, is supportive of the programme.

He added: “This is such a positive initiative. Rainbow Brew Buddies is about offering people a friendly ear and a chance to chat every week. This is important for all of us, but especially for those who, for whatever reason, might already be more isolated – our older residents, people without close family and friends, or those recognised as more vulnerable.”

To see if you are eligible for this service please read our detailed guidance here.

To sign up to volunteer for this service please contact befriending@lgbt.foundation or call 0345 3 30 30 30.

 

 

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