Originally published 10/08/2016
Why Do LGBT Women’s Groups Exist?
If you are reading this, chances are you are a member of the LGBT community. You may be a member of a support or social group, or just out on the scene with your friends. If you identify as a cis-male, you may not realise how LGBT women feel in social and networking situations.
Most LGBT networking groups are run by gay men, and are attended by gay men. That in itself is not a problem, but many women can feel intimidated or unsure about attending, or feel that the subject matter or venue is not suited to them, or makes them feel uncomfortable.
As a gay woman, I have experienced many times being the only woman at an LGBT networking session. Again, this is not the fault of the organisers or the attendees, but it is hard not to feel like you are the only lesbian there, when… you are the only lesbian there!
Many LGBT women that I’ve spoken to have told me about feeling shy or insecure at male-dominated events, and that they have been put off attending events run by gay men for gay men.
And it happens at Pride too. Organisations such as Proud Women help to support and publicise Lesbian and Gay women at Pride events, and there is an increase in female spaces at Prides.
One of the things that I felt was so important when setting up The WOW Network was that it was a safe space for LGBT women. We are more than happy to have supporters and champions who identify as male, but in order to keep our core membership safe our private members spaces are women only.
I also believe that is important to increase visibility of LGBT women as networkers, supports and activists, and most importantly, leaders.
Originally published 10/08/2016 on The Wow Network.