Lesbian Visibility Day in Chile Date in the current year: July 9, 2024

Lesbian Visibility Day in Chile Lesbian Visibility Day (Día de la Visibilidad Lésbica) is observed in Chile annually on July 9. It was created to honor the memory of Mónica Briones, a Chilean painter and sculptor whose murder is regarded as the first documented case of a lesbophobic hate crime in the country.

Mónica Briones was born on July 7, 1950. In the 1960s, she studied at the School of Arts at the University of Chile, where she was a student of the influential painter and engraver Nemesio Antúnez. Briones won a prestigious painting contest and could often be seen selling her artwork Parque Forestal in Santiago.

Sadly, Briones’s talent was overshadowed by the tragic circumstances of her death. In the early morning of July 9, 1984, Briones and her friend Gloria del Villar left a bar and were waiting for a bus when they were approached by a man who attacked Briones. He insulted her for being a lesbian, grabbed Mónica by the neck and beat against the pavement, fracturing her scull.

Mónica died while Gloria was looking for help. When Gloria returned, the attacker had already fled the scene. According to the police report, the cause of death was identified as a hit-and-run. The case was reopened in 1985 when Mónica’s father filed a lawsuit, but investigators weren’t able to identify the attacker, and the court closed the case for good in 1995.

The murder of Mónica Briones inspired Chilean lesbians to fight for their rights. Shortly after her death, they founded Colectiva Lésbica Feminista Ayuquelén (Ayuquelén Lesbian Feminist Collective), the first LGBT advocacy group in Chile.

To honor the memory of Briones, Chilean queer rights activists declared her death anniversary as Lesbian Visibility Day in 2015. Its main goal is to raise awareness of lesbian women and their specific issues and challenges. It should be noted that Chile is quite progressive as far as LGBT rights are concerned (for example, same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples have been legal in the country since 2022), but it hasn’t always been so, and Lesbian Visibility Day is meant to remind how far Chilean society has come since Pinochet’s military dictatorship.

Chile is not the only country in Latin America that has a Lesbian Visibility Day. In Argentina, it takes place on March 7 to honor the memory of Natalia “La Pepa” Gaitán, a 27-year-old lesbian woman who was murdered by her girlfriend’s stepfather in 2010. In Brazil, Lesbian Visibility Day is observed on August 29 to commemorate the First Seminar of Lesbian and Bisexual Women that was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1996. In Paraguay, the observance is held on September 16, because on this day in 1993 a group of lesbians led by Feliciana “Chana” Coronel demanded that lesbian inmates are given the same right to face-to-face meetings with their partners as straight inmates.

Finally, there are at least two international awareness campaigns that focus on lesbian visibility. International Lesbian Visibility Day is observed on April 26, and International Lesbian Day, celebrated primarily in Australia and New Zealand, takes place on October 8.

Remind me with Google Calendar


Other Observances



Lesbian Visibility Day in Chile, observances in Chile, LGBT awareness days, Mónica Briones