News Seattle

Celebrating Lesbian Visibility Week

Apr 22, 2022 | Seattle Pride

Lesbian Visibility Week, which is celebrated April 25 – May 1, is a week of celebrating the lesbians in our community, while also showing solidarity with all LGBTQIA+ women and non-binary folks. For this celebratory week, we are using our voice to highlight some of the many great lesbian women over the years. Whether in science, art, politics, sports, or history, lesbians have always played an important part in history.

In Activism - Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin founded the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian rights group in America. Due to the work of Lyon and Martin, the Daughters of Bilitis quickly grew to become a nationwide activist group. Within five years there were many chapters around the country, including Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Detroit, Denver, and Philadelphia. Martin and Lyon met in Seattle in 1950 and were together for over 50 years until Martin’s death in 2008.

In History - On April 2, 1974, Kathy Kozachenko was elected to City Council in Ann Arbor, Michigan, making her the first openly gay person elected to a political office. While the first gay elected political official is commonly misattributed to Harvey Milk, it is Kathy Kozachenko who holds this title.

In Literature - Audre Lorde was a writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. Lorde made lasting contributions in writing through her works in feminist theory, critical race studies and queer theory. Throughout her life, Lorde used her creative talent to tackle racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. The Black Unicorn (1978), which is widely considered to be her finest poetic work, can be purchased here.

In Science - Rachel Carson was a marine biologist, writer, and conservationist whose work and studies on the harmful effects of pesticides lead to her famous book Silent Spring. Her questioning of the direction of modern science helped start the contemporary environmental movement.

In Music - Mary Lambert is a local artist widely known for her work on Macklemore's song “Same Love”, but she is so much more than just one song. The singer-songwriter and poet has used her work to bring light to mental health disorders, body image issues, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Outside of music, Lambert co-stars in the Netflix animated musical and series, I Heart Arlo and Arlo the Alligator Boy.

In politics - Barbara Jordan was a civil rights leader who became the first African American elected to the Texas Senate in 1966, and the first LGBTQIA+ woman elected to Congress from the state of Texas in 1972. In her congressional term of just six years, Jordan left a more positive impression on the nation than many do in a full 12 years.

From science to politics, there have been many powerful LGBTQIA+ women who have made their mark on the world. Today there is no shortage of smart, motivated, confident lesbian women who could become the next historical figure – we are excited to see who it will be next!

Rachel Carson 1
Barbara Jordan 1
Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin 1