Tag Archives: Culture

Lesbian spaces are still needed, no matter what the queer movement says

As lesbian bars continue to close and lesbian-only spaces continue to be attacked, Susan Cox highlights the disproportionate damage queer politics has done to lesbians and our spaces.

“To pretend the decline of lesbian spaces is merely a sign of progress is totally inconsistent with reality. Rosenthal implies we have reached a kind of utopia, with regard to female sexuality, stating, “It wasn’t too long ago that identifying as lesbian carried a huge stigma.” But she also notes that in Portland State University’s recent “survey of students and their identities, more students identified as ‘pansexual’ than lesbian” and quotes a young woman (who dates women, albeit some who identify as “non-binary”) saying, “‘I have never felt comfortable with the term lesbian.’”

Hmm. That sounds like… what’s the word… oh, yeah: stigma.

This “progress” explanation not only falls flat because stigma around lesbianism remains, but because it fails to account for the fact that spaces for gay males have remained largely intact. In my hometown of Philadelphia, for example, a peek at any “gayborhood” calendar offers a plethora of events catering to gay men, including: gay bingo, gaybill (musical theater night), gay burlesque roulette, free country line dancing, gay antiques shows, and a best gay mac and cheese contest.”

Continue reading at: Lesbian spaces are still needed, no matter what the queer movement says (Source)

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Brenda Fassie: South African lesbian icon immortalised in comic book

Beukes knew from her first book, Maverick, a pop history on women in the country, that there were many who could fit the bill for Femme Magnifique. “I had many to choose from, from Lilian Ngoyi to Ruth First, Krotoa Eva and Sara Baartman.

“But Brenda Fassie worked on so many levels, as a provocative pop star, as a lesbian icon [she came out on Mambaonline in 2003], as a black woman who lived through apartheid and sang about the personal and the political.”

Continue reading at: Brenda Fassie immortalised in comic book – MambaOnline – Gay South Africa online (Source)

Despite facing persecution acclaimed Ugandan rapper Keko comes out as lesbian

The star explained that she hoped that coming out would help young people struggling with their sexuality, as well as dispel the idea that homosexuality is “unAfrican”.

“I speak on it because there are so many kids out there that are like that … people always have that notion where they say, ‘Oh, [being gay] is such a Western thing, they are copying it from the movies.’ So, I speak on it because people need to live freer lives.”

“And this is Africa. So, there is still a lot of time before that happens. But if they can look back and be like, ‘Well, Keko was not afraid to be open about it and stand up for herself, then I can just be myself’.”

Continue reading at: Despite facing persecution acclaimed Ugandan rapper Keko comes out as lesbian – MambaOnline – Gay South Africa online (Source)

Guatemala’s First Lesbian Congresswoman Challenges Status

[After I was elected], there was a public campaign against my intent to become president of a forum of women lawmakers because I wasn’t “woman enough.” The campaign resulted in more support for me, as well as more opposition to me, further propelling me into the public spotlight once I became president [of the forum].

Continue reading at: Guatemala’s First Lesbian Congresswoman Challenges Status — Women & Girls (Source)

Chinese lesbian dating app randomly shut down, leaving 6.5 million users clueless

One possible reason for the mysterious shut down may lie a protest gone wrong. Rela participated in a controversial protest at Shanghai’s popular ‘marriage market’ at People’s Park, Shanghaiist reports.  The ‘marriage market’ is an event where elderly parents search for suitable partners for their unwed sons or daughters.  Rela was one of the groups to send mothers of LGBTI children to the event to raise awareness for gay rights.

Continue reading at: Chinese lesbian dating app randomly shut down, leaving 6.5 million users clueless (Source)

Adrienne Rich: Poet, activist, and lesbian

Adrienne Rich is considered one of preeminent American poets. But she’s also well-known for her political stance as feminist and activist.

Continue reading at: Adrienne Rich: Poet, activist, and lesbian | Lesbian News (Source)

St. Teresa’s College denies venue for release of lesbian-themed novel

Ernakulam: The management of St. Teresa’s College, Ernakulam, has refused to allow the release of ‘Meenukal Chumbikkunnu,’ a novel themed on lesbian love, at the college auditorium saying that the event may ‘impact the minds of students.’

Continue reading at: St. Teresa’s College denies venue for release of lesbian-themed novel (Source)

The Lesbian Avengers 25 Years Later: “We Did It, And We Can Do It Again”

“It’s good to remember that activism works,” she tells me, “because everyone needs a sense of hope right now.” Cogswell and her former Lesbian Avenger cohorts are hopeful the exhibition will help reignite that DIY activist spark, and bridge the gap between the movement’s history and our current challenges.

Continue reading at: The Lesbian Avengers 25 Years Later: “We Did It, And We Can Do It Again” | NewNowNext (Source)

Marvel’s lesbian erasure from Black Panther film sparks fan outrage

Marvel has moved to quash speculation that two warriors in the upcoming film Black Panther will be in a lesbian relationship. The film, due to be released in February 2018, is about T’Challa, the superhero king and protector of African nation Wakanda, who featured in Captain America: Civil War.  Fans had been excited by the prospect of Okoye and Ayo, two of the titular character’s bodyguards, getting together as Ayo and fellow female warrior Aneka do in the comics.

Continue reading at: Marvel’s lesbian ‘erasure’ from Black Panther film sparks fan outrage · PinkNews (Source)

Challenging lesbophobia: A lesbian love story staged at National School of Drama India

The faculty members and students at NSD appreciated the actors for their performances. Talking about the bold scenes in the play, Neha Singh, one of the actors, said, “I can’t say we are fearless. Even now, before performing our play in small towns, we are sometimes afraid that people might not like the play as it is too bold. But we have never censored our play.” She added, “Lesbian love remains one of the taboos on stage. There have been lesbian characters in plays, but not as central characters. In the case of queer plays, there are more gay characters than lesbians.”

Continue reading at: A lesbian love story staged at National School of Drama (Source)

The Amazon Trail: Questions from a lesbian high school student

What still needs to be achieved in the current movement?

“So much. We will never erase all of the hate and fear directed at gay people. Difference is too threatening to many non-gays, especially those who follow religions that demonize us. Being out is the essential basic step to achieving and preserving something like equality. Encouraging and supporting one another, as the Golden Crown Literary Society and lesbian publishers do, for example, are necessary. Legitimizing our right to exist through the legal system will protect us to some extent. Electing supportive non-gays and gays to local and national office is another tool that can protect us in the future. Fighting demagogues every step of the way is a must. We will continue building our culture until it’s so strong our would-be oppressors and executioners can’t begin to tear it down.”

Continue reading at: The Amazon Trail: Questions from a lesbian high school student | LGBT Weekly (Source)

Alison Bechdel, Dykes to Watch Out For writer, says her comics are now more widely accepted

Vermont’s new cartoonist laureate has made a career out of illustrating the complexities of same-sex relationships and says the world has changed around her and is now much more accepting of her work.

Continue reading at: Alison Bechdel says her radical queer comics are now more widely accepted / LGBTQ Nation (Source)

Lesbian Feminists Challenge Latin America’s Political Discourse

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Thirty-something-year-old Yanileth Mejía sports an edgy bob hairdo, large dark sunglasses and provoking graphic T-shirts with lesbian feminist taglines like it’s her uniform. She knows her taboo lifestyle could lead to kidnapping, rape, torture or murder. It is a high price to pay but not uncommon in El Salvador, which has a reputation for one of the highest female murder rates in the world. The latest report from Insight Crime uses data from 2012 and shows El Salvador tops the list in Latin American femicide with a rate of 8.9 homicides per 100,000 women. Seven of the 10 countries with the highest femicide rates are in Latin America, and include Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico.

Continue reading at: Lesbian Feminists Challenge Latin America’s Political Discourse – Latino USA (Source)

The Advocate gives 20 vocab words that describe lesbians, but calls us “queer” with no explanation

Words are weapons or tools depending on how you use them, and while many lesbians cling to their labels, other queer women want nothing to do with them.

Continue reading at: 20 Vocab Words that Describe Queer Women — For Good or Bad | Advocate.com (Source)

Joanna Russ: Science fiction writer, feminist, & lesbian

In a field dominated by men during her time, Joanna Russ not only broke the glass ceiling in turns of writing science fiction but also offering a critique of the genre.

A radical feminist and academic, Russ is now known for her unique, seminal thinking while also being an entertaining science fiction novelist who wrote challenging stories loaded with passion and wit.

What’s more, she was an out lesbian who was not afraid to let the world know who she was, while the few women who wrote SF during her time had to hide using male pseudonyms (like Alice Sheldon a.k.a. James Tiptree, Jr.).

Continue reading at: Joanna Russ: Science fiction writer, feminist, & lesbian | Lesbian News (Source)