Today is Lesbian Day of Visibility. A day where we celebrate and acknowledge the lives and contributions of members of the lesbian community. This year, we are proud to profile some of our members and share what Lesbian Day of Visibility means to them.
Learning Design Specialist Tabetha Dale – College of Policing
I never expected to be a lesbian. Life threw me a curve ball in the mid 90’s when I met a woman who would become my first girlfriend. It knocked me sideways because I was married to a man and had a 2 year old daughter. What followed was lots of questioning of who I am, why this happened to me, emotional turmoil, stress, anxiety and of course a Decree Absolute. But I got through it with support from friends and family and I developed amazing friendships with other lesbians who have been a constant source of support. They introduced me to my first Pride event and the concept of ‘butch’ and ‘femme’ – something which still makes me smile today when I think about it – apparently I’m ‘femme’! They were never ashamed of who they were or what they stood for. I’ve seen the discrimination they have suffered for being who they are, including physical assault, and they are incredible strong women.
My ‘squiggly’ personal life has mirrored my equally ‘squiggly’ career. I now work at the College of Policing in the beautiful surroundings of Harperley Hall, County Durham. I’m a Learning Design Specialist which means myself and my team mates design modern learning solutions for a modern and diverse police workforce. I feel very privileged to be part of the College. It’s a really diverse place to work where I can be myself and I don’t need to hide who I am. I’m actively involved in the LGBT+ Network and have taken a lead in working with other LGBT+ colleagues and allies in raising awareness across my workplace, the College of policing. I’ve met, and made friends with, lots of colleagues at the College of Policing and developed great friendships with some equally great lesbians.
Lesbian Visibility Week reminds me of who I am, how special it is to be lesbian, the journey I have taken and the friends I have made. It also reminds me of how incredibly lucky I am to have the freedom to be who I want to be and not live in fear.