Last year for Lesbian Visibility Day we featured a bio of recent member Jo. Since then she has joined our managing committee and helped both with guiding our LGBT5k preparations and representing our lesbian cohort. For Lesbian Visibility Week 2020 she’s written an updated piece about her experience in the club:
“It’s been a year since my first lesbian visibility week as a member of NFR. Before that I didn’t realise there is a week like this or see how important it is. I’ve been very lucky in my life that I haven’t faced any challenges due to my sexuality. I thought I was very open about it, but using this week to reflect made me realise that I wasn’t as open about myself as I thought. I’m not sure why that was; maybe it was lack of role models or a little bit of fear about what happens when people find out you’re ‘different’. I’m not sure if that was the same for other lesbians in NFR, but even within the club lesbian visibility was minimal. I think things have changed in a good way since then. We’ve had representation on the committee, social media contributors and coaches, and just those small actions where lesbians have made themselves visible has made the club feel even more welcoming than it already was.
Personally, I joined the NFR committee and have had a really good time being part of it. It’s very interesting to see what happens behind the scenes to make the club work and I am part of the team organising the LGBT5k Festival of Running that was planned to take place in July. With social distancing it doesn’t look like it’s possible for that to go ahead in the usual way, but we will see what else we can do to encourage running and LGBT participation in 2020, and I’ll be there next year supporting the 2021 event in conjunction with the rescheduled UK Pride in Newcastle – something I never imagined doing. I’ll also continue to be a positive influence within the club to help anyone who is worried about being visible to see that it’s ok showing the world who you are.”