As a woman, a lesbian and a mother of two teenaged daughters, I care about protecting physical and intimate spaces for women and girls – and I care hugely about the impact on young women who are rejecting their female bodies (often with regrets) because of sexist or homophobic stereotypes.
1. During the GRA consultation, I replied respectfully to a post on our large work LGBT Equality Network (in a University) that encouraged us to complete it using Stonewall’s guidance. I said there are other points of view to consider and other sources to look at for support.
2. I have also raised this in my local large lesbian group as I became increasingly concerned about the increase in welcoming formerly straight men, now identifying as lesbians, in to our group. This is gaslighting lesbians, especially those who are perhaps more recently come out as being attracted to other women.
3. Plenty of face to face and online discussions to raise awareness.
1. I was publicly reprimanded by the Chair of the network who sent an apology for allowing my post to be let through moderation. It was very personal, and also professionally damaging. I went to HR, was initially supported, and then essentially told I was wrong and to let it go. I tried to follow up, but the silence has been overwhelming. It has left a lasting impact on my trust for a fair hearing, and a fear of speaking out.
2. I was accused of transphobia (by a small number of other women), I eventually left the lesbian group, having been a very active member for 20 years. I had countless messages of support privately, and a few publicly (softly).
I feel angry with myself for having given in – my space taken – but at the time I felt like it was the only option I had.
3. Mixed results, delighted with small successes and changes.
Jess, Woman, lesbian, mother