top of page

Happy Lesbian Visibility Week!

(Cover Photo: Heartstopper on Netflix)

This week (the 22nd of April to the 28th of April) celebrates Lesbian Visibility Week. This week is important to many individuals, as social media posts and charities show their support for lesbians. A particular area of the media that often shows support for the lesbian community is through TV shows. Within this article, I am going to talk through my favourite lesbian moments, to celebrate Lesbian Visibility Week. Happy lesbian visibility week to everyone – you are valid!

Emmerdale – Zoe Tate

In 1993, British soap Emmerdale introduced the first lesbian character on a British soap opera. Zoe Tate was praised by viewers and critics, as she was described as a character who was able to exist freely. Zoe’s episodes have recently been re-shown on ITV3’s Classic Emmerdale, so recent viewers are able to see how Zoe was represented as a lesbian in the 90s. 

Heartstopper – Tara and Darcy

In Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper comic, Oseman portrays 16-year-old teenage girls Tara and Darcy, through a beautiful lesbian relationship. When Heartstopper was adapted for Netflix, this beautiful relationship was portrayed on screen. As a young person, seeing young lesbian love and watching this relationship flourish was captivating, as most media I had seen growing up was teenage heterosexual relationships. Further, Heartstopper tackles homophobia from Darcy’s parents, which is an upsetting yet unfortunate reality for many people. Oseman’s portrayal of LGBTQIA+ issues is evident in Heartstopper, as well as other books she has written, which provide comfort for many people who can relate to the characters.

Coronation Street – Nina and Asha

Nina and Asha’s story in Coronation Street is a personal favourite of mine. Again, seeing two young women fall in love is lovely to see. Nina is part of a goth subculture, and seeing Nina express her goth identity as well as explore her sexuality was very special for viewers. However, recently Coronation Street have decided to split Nina and Asha, with many viewers, myself included, critiquing soaps, as lesbian individuals would like better representation on television. For example, previous lesbian relationships on Coronation Street, such as Kate and Rana, led to the death of Rana. Many viewers are asking for soaps to continue their portrayal of lesbian couples and avoid stereotypical tropes such as death or heartbreak.

Emmerdale – Charity and Vanessa

Back in 2017, characters Charity and Vanessa began to explore a lesbian relationship. This relationship had viewers hooked, as the pair helped each other through various issues, such as Charity reflecting on her abusive past and Vanessa battling bowel cancer. Many viewers praised the soap for the beautiful relationship, as seeing women fall in love was unheard of on screen. Despite positive recognition, Charity and Vanessa parted ways, leading to viewer critique. 

This lesbian visibility week provides an important space to reflect on how media represents lesbians on screen. Despite the media and television changing as attitudes have changed, it is still evident there is still a long way to go within media. What are your favourite lesbian storylines on screen, and what would you like to see the media do to improve lesbian visibility? Let me know in the comments below.



bottom of page