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I’m scared the word ‘lesbian’ is going to become invisible

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Lesbian Visibility Week earlier this year.I could joke it’s because us lesbians only get seen for one week a year, but I’m also genuinely wondering: is the word ‘lesbian’ in danger of becoming invisible?It’s an issue that’s close to home for me, because I want my young kids to hear the word first in a positive context but, to many, it is a contentious word due to its toxic connotations through misuse as a pejorative slur.My wife and I are of the same generation and had pretty similar upbringings culturally, but she has little love for the word.

Growing up it was carelessly used by some of her peers as an insult, something associated with freakiness, ugliness, total social shame.And she isn’t the only one who is hesitant.

New research has shown British lesbians are delaying coming out because of harmful stereotypes connected to it. Last month, LGBT+ charity Just Like Us found 68% of those surveyed feared they would be perceived as ‘man-hating’, ‘over-sexualised’ or ‘anti-trans’.

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