You might not be aware of this bombshell but I am a lesbian. I know, shocker right? It’s not like I’ve mentioned it much in my blog ‘Lesbian Outings’…
One of the motivations to burden you with my random brain musings is that there ain’t a massive amount out there, specifically UK-centred that I related to lezzy-wise. Not that I’m going to pretend that my nonsense is ground breaking but you know, lesbian shiz is kinda elusive. I might as well throw my tiny wooly hat in the massive ring right? In terms of visibility, well we just ain’t that visible. It’s slowly changing yes – we’ll get a cheeky whiffage of lesbian existence every now and then but on the whole, we just seem to have a quiet murmur of an existence. Why the fudge is that huh? We’re bloody everywhere and yet nowhere at the same time.
I’ve mentioned before that massive gay-fest Queer As Folk was a driving force in my determination to escape the Home Counties for the gay holy grail of Manc-Land. But Queer As Folk wasn’t even about lesbians. It’s not that often anything ever is about lesbians. Yes yes, occasionally we’re thrown an enticing bone of lesbian content but more as a quietening pat on the head than anything else.
I could digress into a whole other mumble about lesbian representation on film and TV, including the intriguing ‘lesbian death cliche’ conspiracy theory. But alas, that is a mahoosive can of pesky worms that I’ll back away from until another day…
When I landed in the glorious gay motherland a decade ago, there was and still is, only one official lesbian bar in Manchester. If I’m honest, I’d love to frequent it but personally, it’s not really for me. That’s fine to admit right? It’s not one size fits all after all. So why only one venue? Yes there’s the odd club night catering specifically to lesbian/bi women but again, that elusive level of diversity catering for the ever-widening spectrum of dykios eludes.
It’s interesting to note that there are a couple of other Manchester bars in existence which are lesbian heavy but intriguingly, despite being known as lesbian venues amongst the community, they apparently adamantly refuse to label themselves such. It’s interesting that huh?
There are of course more services, societies, clubs and whatnot which serve gay ladies slowly breaking out into the community, but nowhere near the breadth and widening reach of that for gay men. That’s not a sleight against gay men, big up the gay guys, it’s just fact yo.
But things are sloooooowly changing. It reet warms my cockles to see more fellow lesbians furtively eek their heads out of their elusive hiding places. As a super proud member of gay sports group, it’s blinking marvellous to see the attendance at our women’s session grow in numbers. More women-specific sports sessions are starting to add themselves to the mix and it’s a definitive sign that there are plenty of lesbian and bi women out there ready and waiting to engage.
I ain’t gonna lie, for my sports group, it has been incredibly hard to recruit women. It was touch and go in the early days; it’s no mean feat to engage LGBT women to get into their cossies and dive in the pool.
But the issue of lesbian diversity and visibility is a wider issue beyond immediate communities, it still prevails in popular culture and the media. When I was growing up, there was not one out lesbian within the media that I could relate to. Maybe I wasn’t a lesbian, I thought, because I didn’t look or act like the rare lesbians I saw growing up. Oh the mind muddle.
We have moved on of course, just a teensy bit. I watch on with a fist pump at the ready as more ladylovers come out in the public eye. Some do it with it with a fabulous f*ck you like Ellen Page. Some with a ‘yeah, and what of it’ a la Cara Delevigne. Then you have the likes of Ruby Rose who seems to have straight and gay women alike getting themselves all kinds of unnecessary. Slowly it’s happening and the world is seeing more women coming out in the public eye; femme, butch, androgynous and in between – yay to diversity!
I know from many a deep drunken conflab, that the lack of lesbian visibility isn’t just something which occupies my brainage. Plenty of my gay lady friends share my frustrations at the lack of lesbian-centric stuff; why isn’t there a bar like such-and-such but for lesbians? Why isn’t there this for us? Or that?! We should soo set up our own…
Indeed we should. The only way to build momentum is to turn our pondering vexations into action, after all, nowt came from a mere drunken rant other than a hangover and that bitter taste of the beer fear.
There are of course people out there already starting to move and shake the lesbian community but we need more. There is room for SO much more. So dear lesbians, let’s get on this!