The invisible lesbian

No, we are not going to talk about any myth, story or story about a woman who likes women and who in some magical way becomes invisible. The reality is much sadder and today, as part of the Week of the Lesbian Visibility that we organize from the Sanctuary of Eros, we want to talk about the invisibility suffered by the lesbian community both inside and outside of paganism. And it seems that being a woman and a homosexual is less important than being a man and a homosexual, even though homosexuals are still fighting for many rights, they have to fight twice.

Detalle de "In the Days of Sappho" de John William Godward (1904)
Detail from John William Godward’s In the Days of Sappho (1904)

It’s funny how the first letter of LGBTQ + is for lesbians and how are you relegated to the background. In the media when people talk about homosexuals, men are usually talked about, in fiction it is more common to find gay characters but not lesbian characters, and it seems that machismo also prevails in the visibility of non-heterosexual orientations. Although there are few fingers would be missing hands to list the number of famous male characters who have declared their homosexuality, however if we make the same list but with women may be enough with both hands.

The normalization of homosexuality seems to have not been homogenous and that the only ones who have asked for it have been men and women have been left in the background. But in paganism and witchcraft the same thing happens and that there is a majority of women in these ways. The great part of the books, rituals and spells with LGBTQ + theme are usually focused on homosexual men and lesbians are again relegated to the background or ignored directly. And the most curious thing is that this happens even when there are only groups of lesbian women like for example some covens of Dianic Wicca

The most curious thing is that perhaps one of the most important people in Western culture is the same person for whom lesbianism is called that way, a woman who was certainly pagan. We are not talking about anything other than Sappho of Lesbos, the first lyric poet (or at least it is for many scholars and philologists). This woman lived in Lesbos, a small island belonging to the archipelago of North Aegean Islands, near the coast of Turkey. In his poems Sappho spoke openly about what his disciples made him feel, if women. It is because of her, and because it came from Lesbos that today the word lesbian has the form it has.

The invisibilization of women in many areas is something that is increasingly talked about but they still have less voice than a man in the same area, even when they are the majority. In the field of homosexuality exactly the same happens. Think for a moment, how many times have you seen two men holding hands as a couple? And two women?

There is still a long way to go for lesbians to have the recognition they need. Even within paganism. The majority of pagan authors who talk about homosexuality are men and are directed to men but homosexual women go through similar situations and do not have so many references to whom to read or so many spiritual resources to draw on to be able to heal their shadow or wounds that they drag by the simple fact of their sexuality and that society still does not accept them.

Where are you witches and pagan lesbians? Please take a step forward, if you feel comfortable leading some kind of initiative or with public exposure, other lesbian women and the rest of the community need you.

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