Twenty-five years after the event that would give rise to the date, the National Day of Lesbian Visibility (August 29) follows the representation of struggles that are still old, but that persist in everyday life. Among them is the fight against violence, lesbophobia and lesbocide, portraits of a reality that has not changed much in the last two decades.
According to a survey by Gênero e Número, a social company dedicated to data-driven journalism, an average of six lesbian women were raped each day in 2017. The total number of registered cases exceeded 2,300. In more than 60% of crimes, it was not the first time that victims suffered violence.
The Dossier Lesbocídio in Brazil, created by researchers from the Social Inclusion Nucleus (NIS) of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), points to an increase in violence.
Of the 180 homicides committed by gender bias against lesbians and registered between 2000 and 2017, 126 occurred only between 2014 and 2017.
In an interview with Central do Brasil, activist Cinthia Abreu lamented the numbers. “Here in Brazil, we are still in the process of being visible,” he said.
Cinthia is a member of the World March of Women, the March of Black Women and the National Lesbian and Bisexual Seminary. She points out that lesbophobia is growing in the country.
::Lesbian and bisexual women: our struggle is greater than our silence::
“This often and effectively ends up in physical aggression. But it doesn’t just happen physically. It happens verbally, it also happens when lesbian women end up committing suicide because of prejudice,” he warns.
She also says that the advance of conservatism in Brazil places lesbians at the forefront of attacks on rights. “Before, we were talking about rights, now we are talking about life. This we feel on the streets, with cursing, with rude words. It frightens us”.
On August 29, 1996, the 1st National Lesbian Seminar was held in Brazil, which discussed issues such as collective organization, health and visibility. In addition to being a milestone for the creation of the National Lesbian Visibility Day, the event was established in the following years as a stage for debate.
From there, important discussions and reflections emerged for the “search for rights and dignity, for the free expression of sexualities and for the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity”.
Until 2014, seven meetings were held. In addition to the city of Rio de Janeiro, which hosted the first edition, seminars were also held in Salvador (BA), Betim (MG), Aquiráz (CE), São Paulo (SP), Recife (PE), Porto Velho (RO) and Porto Alegre (RS).
Edition: Douglas Matos