On 1 August 2021 Listening2Lesbians provided submissions in response to the following from the Commission on the Status of Women:
“Any individual, non-governmental organization, group or network may submit communications (complaints/appeals/petitions) to the Commission on the Status of Women containing information relating to alleged violations of human rights that affect the status of women in any country in the world. The Commission on the Status of Women considers such communications as part of its annual programme of work in order to identify emerging trends and patterns of injustice and discriminatory practices against women for purposes of policy formulation and development of strategies for the promotion of gender equality.”
Information was provided to the UN on incidents dating back approximately 2.5 years across the 57 countries we have reported on in that time.
Legal, social and familial punishment of lesbians for failing to conform with the expectations imposed on women illuminates the status of women around the world. Homosexuality is understood to be a breach of sex-based expectations. Strictly enforced sex roles are accompanied by increased consequences for those who break them, individually or collectively. Lesbians, or women read as lesbians, are doubly punishable for their non-conformity, both overt and inferred.
Listening2Lesbians is not an expert on these countries and provided this information to augment and support the information provided by women from individual communities. We can only provide information on cases we have been able to locate and based our submissions solely around the available facts. Please note that we welcome corrections and updates.
We are painfully aware of the many communities not represented.
Anyone with information on missing communities is invited to contact us with information on reporting violence and discrimination against lesbians in their community.
Angela Paterson is now 49 years old and living openly as a lesbian, but told the i that she’ll “never forget” her horrific experiences of conversion therapy as a vulnerable teenager.
Paterson joined Lancing Tabernacle Church in West Sussex, which at the time was led by reverend Max Donald, when she was 14.
When she was 19, in 1990, she became homeless. Donald was aware that the teenager was vulnerable, with a history of sexual abuse, and asked her to move in with him and his wife.
Paterson said knew she was a lesbian, and believed what her evangelical church taught her – that being gay meant going straight to hell. Donald initially sent her to a counsellor for conversion therapy, but when that was ineffective, he embarked on four years of abuse in his mission to “heal” her.
The abuse began gradually, Paterson explained: “I’d be in bed and he would come into my room with a cup of coffee, sit on the bed and on the odd occasion touch my hair and say, ‘We really want to look after you.’ Then we would be in the lounge and he would just grab my hand.
“I was confused but I also thought, ‘This is a pastor, someone I can trust.’ Then I was at the fridge one night and he grabbed me and kissed me on the lips. I was really taken aback but he was trying to reassure me, [saying], ‘It’s OK, I just care about you.’”
Donald would tell her that the rape was “OK by God”, and she added: “As far as I was concerned, he was closer to God than anybody else… I thought it might work. I was a broken person when I moved there. So I stayed.”
Drinks giant Coca-Cola has been accused of ‘rainbow-washing’ after cutomers discovered certain words – including ‘lesbian’ – were not allowed on personalised glass bottles.
The online customisation tool lets people create distinctive bottles with their own bespoke labels, including an option with the Pride flag.
But the word ‘lesbian’ was banned, and when customers tried to type it in they were met with an automated message.
‘Oops! Looks like the name you requested is not an approved one,’ it read. ‘Names may not be approved if they’re potentially offensive to other people, trademarked, or celebrity names. We’ve worked hard to get this list right, but sometimes we mess up.’
UK police are seeking the public’s help in identifying three women who allegedly chased a lesbian couple into a security office to escape their homophobic verbal assault.
A lesbian couple shopping at a Tesco market in the United Kingdom were the victims of a homophobic verbal assault so aggressive they were forced to hide from their attackers in a security office. Police in Kent released CCTV images showing the three woman they say are responsible for the homophobic assault at the Tesco market in Gillingham, Kent, and are asking for the public’s help in bringing the suspected bigots to justice. Police are investigating the assault as a hate crime incident.
A WOMAN has said she was forced out of a church congregation after coming out as a lesbian. Rachel Gillingham’s case left her needing three years of counselling.
An investigation into St Luke’s Church in Oseney Crescent and its vicar has since taken place. She had been a regular at the church – part of the Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) network – but was frozen out after coming out to Reverend Jon March in 2019.
Rev March told her that openly backing equal marriage within the Church of England (CofE) was unacceptable for someone in her position as a bible study leader, and that if she was gay she could not have sex with another woman as he believed it was a sin.
After the incident and investigation, Ms Gillingham was able to address the Parochial Church Council (PCC), which is in charge of the church’s governance, and but was stunned to find out they had not been informed of the incident.
Tua is a lesbian from Cameroon who finally received her leave to remain in the United Kingdom in 2019.
Tua talks to Sally Jackson about the violent lesbophobia she was subjected to in Cameroon, and how she was forced into a marriage by her mother. During her escape, she was exploited and trafficked to England where she faced the shameful policies of the UK’s Hostile Environment before finding support here. Her asylum claim was finally accepted in 2019 and she has received her leave to remain.
Former Great British Bake Off host Sue Perkins has revealed that she was victim to a homophobic attack that left her in tears.
The presenter and comedian says she “burst into tears” after a man verbally assaulted her on Hampstead Heath in North London. Speaking on an episode of the Homo Sapiens podcast, Perkins revealed: “I did have my first homophobic insult in 20 years recently … I was on the heath and this guy, I think he said, ‘You f***ing dyke.'”
The 51-year-old TV personality told podcast hosts Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney that she feared the altercation might turn physical. “At the time, I sort of went right up to him and went: ‘What did you say?'” she recalled, “and he sort of postured a bit almost as if he was going to hit me, almost like an intimation of something physical.”
Fearful of the situation, Perkins kept her space: “I thought ‘I’m going to just stand here.’ I remember my hand was out because I wanted to keep that distance. Like if you come within the length of my arm I know that something really bad is going to happen.”
Perkins told Cumming and Sweeney that she maintained her composure before asking him again what he had said. “He just sort of buckled a bit and he went, ‘I just mean you’ve got a nice face, why would you…’ I just thought, ‘What’s my face got to do with you?'”
Not wanting to escalate the situation, Perkins said she “didn’t want to replace knee jerk unkindness with knee jerk unkindness,” and she told the man :I’m just walking my dog and I’m quiet and I’m in a good mood and I’ve got love for everyone here and you’ve destroyed that and you can’t take that back today” before leaving and bursting into tears.
A shop worker said she was “mortified” when she opened her locker and discovered a homophobic note.
The offensive message was found by Pammie Clinton during her shift at Wilko in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, on 9 September.
It directed a homophobic slur at her and implored her to quit. She handed in her notice a few days later.
Wilko said discrimination of any kind was not accepted and it was looking into the situation “very seriously”.
Ms Clinton, who is a lesbian, said the message had been pushed into her locker through a small hole.”I was absolutely disgusted with what I was reading – I felt like my heart had sunk to the pit of my stomach,” she said.
“I went straight to the bathroom and sat and cried.
“The incident was reported to management but the culprit was never found – and Ms Clinton said she felt compelled to resign.
She said: “I was filled with anxiety and found myself looking at everyone at work thinking ‘was it you?’, which was mentally and emotionally unhealthy.”
My name is Allison Bailey. I am a criminal defence barrister, a feminist, a lesbian, a lifelong campaigner for racial equality, lesbian, gay, and bisexual rights, and a survivor of child sexual abuse. …
In 2019, I helped to set up the LGB Alliance with other campaigners and activists who felt, like me, that organisations such as Stonewall had seriously lost their way in recent years: they had conflated sex with gender, meaning that same sex attraction – the fundamental basis of lesbian and gay attraction, and therefore the fundamental basis of lesbian and gay rights – was no longer recognised. The impacts of this have been several and severe, and in order to campaign properly for gay and lesbian rights, we felt that a new organisation was required. …
A person may identify as they identify, and they should be protected and respected for their identity. However, a person’s identity is not a license to cause distress or intimidation to others, and can never legitimately be used to put others to harm. There are necessary exceptions to the acceptance of males in female spaces, and those exceptions are necessary to protect women.
These injustices arise as a result of the misguided insistence that gender has somehow replaced sex as a fundamental aspect of human identity. It is for that reason that I am gender critical. This is not to say that gender is not a genuine aspect of identity for some people. But it is separate and does not (and cannot) replace sex.
The result of Stonewall’s “acceptance without exception” mantra is to put women at risk of harm. …
Perhaps most specifically from my point of view, that Stonewall unilaterally and without any mandate whatsoever, and to further its lobbying ambitions, redefined homosexuality as same-gender and not same-sex attraction was an especially egregious betrayal of LGB people, especially lesbians. The inclusion of male-bodied people into the class of lesbian women means that lesbians are excoriated for bigotry and transphobia simply for being same-sex attracted. This is base homophobia.
It was because of these injustices – and the role as I and others saw of it of Stonewall in promoting these injustices – that the LGB Alliance was set up, in order to fill the void in LGB campaigning that Stonewall had left when they decided to campaign for “acceptance without exception”.
Retired boxer Nicola Adams and her girlfriend, beauty blogger Ella Baig, have hit back at trolls criticising their relationship.
The pair, who have been dating since 2018, appeared in a video on Nicola’s TikTok page posted on Monday (June 1), in which the pair appear alongside the hurtful comments they have to endure online since getting together.
Adams appeared next to comments such as “you’re too manly” and “you’re too black”, while Baig appeared next to criticisms saying, among other things, “you wear to much makeup” and “slut”.
When shown hugging each other, criticisms of the pair that appear on screen in the video include “don’t you want a family?” and “you don’t look gay”.
Other comments include ones attacking them for being a biracial couple.
Kourtney Grant was left with injuries to her face and arms after she was tackled by the woman while she walking home.
The woman pushed Kourtney to the ground and hit her, leaving her bleeding and covered in bruises. Kourtney’s face has now been left in scratches, along with a large cut where her elbow hit the ground.
The teen was also subjected to homophobic abuse by the attacker during the horrifying episode. … Kourtney, who says that it isn’t the first time she has been targeted for her sexuality, isn’t sure who the attacker was, however she is described as having dark hair and was wearing a blue jumper.
The 16-year-old added: “I just want her to own up because the entire incident has stressed me out – I just feel a bit messed up by it all.
“People have said things about my sexuality before and they never really got to me – but this time it was obviously physical as well.”
One in three lesbian mothers in Britain has experienced homophobia from other parents, while the same proportion have children who have been bullied for having two mums, according to a rare study of LGBT+ women published on Monday.
The online survey by research firm Kantar of more than 1400 LGBT+ women – one of the largest of its kind – found 37% of lesbian mothers suffered discrimination from other parents, while the same number’s children were victimised.
The study offers a rare look at the plight of lesbian mothers in the country, where reported homophobic hate crimes rose 25% in England and Wales in the year to March 2019 and three-fold since same-sex marriage was legalised in 2013.
Two sisters say they are “relieved but worried” after they narrowly avoided being deported to Pakistan where they say they face the threat of LGBT-based violence.
Samina, 52, and Nazia Iqbal, 48, from Stockport, were scheduled to be taken out of the country on Saturday night from Manchester airport after a judge said it was not “credible” that they are gay [sic], despite the sisters being publicly out for 20 years.
The pair were due to leave on a flight at 9pm on Saturday back to Pakistan but after being questioned by Sky News the Home Office appeared to make a U-turn on the decision as the sisters were not put on the plane.
When contacted by Sky News to ask why the sisters were being deported a spokesperson said that “each case is considered on its merits”.
The Iqbal sisters were not told they would not be put on the flight and only realised they were not leaving when Sky News informed them that the plane had taken off.
The following day the pair were moved to the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, which has been criticised over treatment of detainees, something the Home Office has previously said has been improved upon.
The pair are now in limbo awaiting a bail hearing on Tuesday.
Angel fled Zimbabwe in fear of her life after police found her in bed with another woman five years ago. It’s taken most of the time since then for her to convince the Home Office that she is gay and will be persecuted if she returns. But how do you prove something you spent your life trying to hide?
In 2015, Angel found herself in an interview room in the north of England with a Home Office official whose job was to work out whether she was lying.
“How do I know I am a lesbian? How old was I when I knew? Who did I tell?” Angel recalls being asked.
“It is as if the Home Office expect a date and time.”
For seven hours, the interviewer picked at the threads of her life story.
The secret relationship with a girl at high-school and the betrayal of a family member she confided in about it.
Her forced marriage to an abusive husband in her 20s and the young daughter she had left behind in Zimbabwe.
Being raped by two men in her 30s who intended to “straighten her up”. And then, a few years later, the brutality from police when they discovered her in bed with a woman at a house-party.
New research provides evidence that having a gay- or lesbian-sounding voice can have tangible consequences on a person’s job prospects. The study, published in Psychology of Women Quarterly, indicates that discrimination based on one’s voice may be particularly harmful for women perceived as lesbian.
“Voice is a minimal cue that people use, consciously or unconsciously, to make inferences about others. Stereotypes about voice exist too. I am therefore interested in examining how minimal cues such as voice can affect listeners’ perception and discrimination,” said study author Fabio Fasoli, a lecturer in social psychology at the University of Surrey.
“Gaydar is usually defined as the ability to correctly guess who is gay and who is heterosexual from such minimal clues. As a consequence of gaydar, discrimination can occur when sexual orientation is inferred from a person’s behavior during the hiring process,” the researchers wrote in their study.
The researchers found that gay-sounding men and especially lesbian-sounding women were viewed as less competent than their heterosexual-sounding counterparts, which in turn was associated with them being rated as less suitable for jobs and ranked lower in employability. Contrary to expectations, lesbian-sounding women did not have an advantage when applying to stereotypically masculine job positions.
“A stereotype about ‘gay voice’ exists and affects people’s impression and reactions. Voice can thus lead to subtle forms of discrimination in the hiring process. Although there is not a shared stereotype about the ‘lesbian voice,’ women who sound ‘lesbian’ are at higher risk of discrimination,” Fasoli told PsyPost.