The 8th of October is recognised as International Lesbian Day. It provides the opportunity to explore lesbian identity and recognise historical contributions by lesbians to wider society.

Lesbian health issues

In healthcare in England, the outcomes for lesbians tend to be poorer than for heterosexual women. A report by Public Health England, published in March 2018, called Improving the health and wellbeing of LBWSW reviewed available literature on lesbian health and also highlighted the paucity of data about lesbians, bisexual women and women who have sex with women. Some themes continue to emerge as shown in the diagram below – and PHE concedes that there is considerable work to be done, especially given that there is so little in the way of data or research into lesbian health.

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Challenging common misconceptions about lesbian identity

A.Stiffler and K.Copeland are illustrators who developed a handy guide on lesbian identity – challenging common misconceptions and stereotypes. The representation of lesbians in mainstream media continues to be myopic, standardised and limited to ‘traditional’ story-lines and images of lesbians.

Below are some of their illustrations that can be used to guide discussion about lesbian identity and wider identity issues.