Who here has a Gaymily (a gay family) or is/feels like they are an active part of the Queer Community?
Recently a friend challenged me to find a lesbian under the age of twenty-five who understood the concept of having/needing a gay family. Most queers in this age group don’t know what it’s like to need a safe space, to have to go to these places so that you can meet women. These days you can’t throw a rock without hitting someone on the LGBTIQ+ spectrum in the face (don’t throw rocks). This was my friend’s perspective anyway.
I don’t know how I feel about this. Let’s be real; the days of gay bashings and abuse are not over. We have come so far but there are still hate crimes being committed, brothers and sisters suffering and still countries where being gay can get you arrested, stoned or hanged. The war is not over.
But for those of us living in shiny, modern metropolitan areas, particularly queers under the age of twenty-five, we are accepted amongst our peers. You’re not allowed to exclude people because of their sexuality, the world is safer for us so does this mean that we no longer need our safe spaces?
I guess in a way I agree. I’ve been in London for two months now and there is definitely less of a scene here, especially for lesbians. Instead of going to one of the few girl nights around I have found that I’m much more likely to meet someone in the bars of Shoreditch or Vuaxhall, especially if I want to meet someone my age. This is great but also a shame because all of our bars and safe spaces are disappearing. This change in society is marking the death of the lesbian sub-culture. RIP Girl Bars.
For me there are two reasons why the death of the lesbian scene is a shame:
- First and most importantly there’s no cross generational socializing. This means there’s no passing of the torch. There’s no swapping of stories. All of the stories of hardship and the road that we’ve had to walk, the battles that have been fought, lost, won, they will all be lost with this generation because why would you hang out with a fifty-year-old woman in a lesbian bar when you can hang out with your friends in any old bar? Because she’s a fucking legend and you could learn a thing or two, that’s why. Sit down and show some respect.
- I love my gaymily, I absolutely love them! I am so proud to be a lesbian and to belong to such a diverse and inclusive community. Maybe it’s because I’m from Australia that this concept of community is a little more ingrained in me? We just survived six months of agony while our government forced us to vote on marriage equality. Imagine that! Nothing makes you appreciate your safe space and the need for a community like propaganda and hate speech shaming your very existence.
I think that being a part of the lesbian scene, being part of the family is something special, something to be proud of. My community have gotten me through so much, when my family turned me away, when my colleagues didn’t understand, I wouldn’t be here without the support of women who know what I’ve been through. Women who love woman.
So to my young sisters I say; remember that there is a vibrant and history filled community that will welcome you with open arms should you ever need us. Don’t forget that you are a part of a long line of women who have fought and died for our cause. Don’t let their bravery and sacrifices be forgotten.