One reason why the “we need more nonsexual LGBT spaces because gay bars are evil dens of sin and predation” thing bothers me so much is that I have known quite a few nonsexual, minor-friendly LGBT spaces that did not revolve around alcohol consumption as business model or whatever - I worked for four years at a gay and lesbian bookstore in Vancouver’s gay village! You know what’s really, um, difficult to do (under capitalism etc)? Maintain a successful small, community-based business that caters to a marginalized community! It can go well, but it can also be just really really hard. The place where I worked was firebombed multiple times (not while I worked there, although I did have shifts canceled a few times due to bomb threats), it was put at the center of a sprawling legal case about government censorship of LGBT literature that cost the owners literally millions of dollars, when I worked there I don’t know if it ever really turned a profit, and no one was paid enough, and the owners eventually got burned out but couldn’t find someone with decent ethics to sell it to so they’d be sure that their employees and this space they’d built for LGBT people would be in good hands.
I loved that bookstore with all my heart and soul - it was my one refuge when I was living in a violent, abusive situation; it was the first place I was able to have a sense of belonging to an actual community of LGBT people, an experience which was really formative for me and helped me heal a lot from the small-town homophobia I was coming from; when I was too poor to buy food, the manager told me to just take whatever I needed for dinner or groceries or bus fare out of the till and leave her a note letting her know, and she’d literally just like, reimburse whatever I needed. This is an OUTRAGEOUS thing to do, but she was an elder lesbian and she knew I was young and bi and in a really tough place so she did it anyway. One of the store owners, at a time when I wasn’t speaking to my mom for a number of complicated reasons, would call my mom to let her know I was showing up for work and I wasn’t, like, dead in a ditch somewhere. Those people looked out for me - and for other people like me - in ways that went so beyond what I could have ever asked anyone for. And they did it while struggling immensely as a business.
And you know what often kept that place afloat? Gay bars! I’m serious - when the bookstore was in trouble, when they had legal fees, etc, it was gay bars who hosted fundraisers. It was gay bars who provided space for stuff like LGBT trivia night, or for the bookstore’s anniversary and new years’ parties, or for anything that required more space than a small bookstore could accommodate.
So I really resent seeing people pit the idea of spaces like LGBT bookstores and cafes against the idea of spaces like gay bars! Listen: it’s been said a million times, but I think it bears repeating, that most of the people doing this seem like they have never been to an actual gay bar but are basing this stance entirely on what they’ve seen on TV. But also, I feel like maybe these people have never been to an LGBT bookstore or cafe or community centre or other social space for LGBT people that isn’t a bar! Because if you think that there’s no connection ever between these spaces and the ways they exist, if you think that undermining the right of gay bars to exist is supportive of gay bookstores and coffee shops, you’re very, very, extremely, much, very wrong.
i was told i should definatley post this story so here we go!:
So I was selling Girl Scout cookies at a cookie booth this weekend, and this little old lady walks up to the booth to buy cookies! She looks to me like she’s at least 70 she’s really old. She’s super friendly talking to us and telling us about what it was like when she was a Girl Scout. So finally she picks out 5 boxes to buy and she says “you know I don’t really like these cookies but my, uh, my spouse Sharon did.” And she continued to tell us about her wife Sharon who died 2 years ago from cancer. Sharon was a Girl Scout leader and she was 6ft tall and she just loved thin mints. And then Margaret (she said at this point her name was Margaret) pointed down to her shirt (which was HUGE on her) and said it belonged to Sharon and even tho it’s really big on her she still wears it all the time because it feel like Sharon is still there hugging her. And she told us that they had been together for 28 years and really loved each other. Then Margarets old lady friends came over so she had to go and she said good bye and after she left we were talking about it and I was so happy to have met her because it just made me so happy to meet this elderly lesbian Girl Scout and all of the sudden the sort of sad mood is interrupted because the other girl in my troop looks over to me and says “wow Kaitlyn, she was the first gay Girl Scout I’ve ever met besides you!” and all I responded with was “it was an experience"
“I really wanted to see a strong, playful and complicated lesbian Latina elder on screen,” says the film’s writer and director, Adelina Anthony.
“Our queer elders are rarely on screen, and less so if they are of color. But I come from a culture that practices respecting one’s elders. So, in a small way, this film pays homage to the queer elders in our lives. And once I knew I was going to put a Latina lesbian elder and her female fiancée at the center of the story, I decided to imagine them in a senior residence home because in the U.S. it’s where many of our seniors end up living the last years of their lives.”
Disney’s Dinosaur is an exercise in nihilism as the events of the movie are rendered null and void when taking the canon of the franchise into account. Aladar’s actions to save his family prove pointless as, sometime after the ending of the film, the K-T extinction event takes place and everyone he loves including his sexy dino wife, his newborn babies, his adopted lemur family and his interspecies elder lesbian friends are brutally killed in the impact. He only survives due to the actions of a time travelling scientist determined to bring a living dinosaur specimen back with him into the present-day. In this essay we will explore the nihilistic themes present throughout Disney’s Dinosaur and its extended canon by-
All I feel is grateful for the old lesbians who have built this culture up for decades and did so much work and have been through so much before me. But they seem to be grateful for the presence of young lesbians, especially young butches… which is really a lot to hold onto. older butches always want to ask me questions. the fear of disappearing and not having inheritors. I have so many questions for lesbian elders and it continuously shocks me that people want to hear from us too. this morning I went to a workshop by the woman who wrote the Disappearing L, a book I haven’t read yet about the erasure of women’s culture from the modern LGBT narrative. She said she spent decades at lesbian events journaling and taking down everything she could, how she was feeling and what was happening, passing around notebooks for other women to express themselves too. Now she has donated tons of material from the movement to archives all over the place, including the smithsonian. She said that we’re living history now and that we should record everything, because someday others will want to know what it was like for us. Because there will always be lesbian inheritors.
But seriously though… gay Aunt Josephine… Anne is telling her that she wants to be like her and not fall to the “frivolities of romance”, and Aunt Jo is like… that’s not like me at all. Then she says that she WAS the marrying kind, in her way, and that they lived a long full life together. She is mourning the loss of the woman she spent her whole life with. Anne getting advice from a lesbian elder is literally making me cry
So a few months ago my step mom asked me what is to lesbians as Madonna/Beyonce/lady gaga is to gay men and I couldn't answer her because I'm bi so I was hoping you could educate me
well first and foremost Beyoncé is a staple of every part of the lgbt community so jot that down. as for iconic artists that lesbians love…after consulting with my board of lesbian elders….i gotta say hayley kiyoko, tegan & sara, muna, and beatrice eli
Black lesbians are so important! Let’s respect and admire our Black lesbian sisters and elders, because Black lesbian communities have created so much lesbian culture and vocabulary. Black lesbians are important and wonderful!
learning new skills from other womyn is so healing. we’re staying on womyns land and last night one of the elder lesbians who lives there taught me how to roll my own cigarettes (I’m learning so I can make my own herbals and cut down on tobacco, smoking is bad kids). sure, I could have just gone on YouTube. sure, there’s a wikiHow article for just about anything and you don’t have to talk to anyone new or even leave the house. but you don’t get that connection. every time you use that skill you can remember who taught it to you. and when another womyn asks you how you do whatever it is, you can say “here, let me show you how I was taught” and pass it on. combat our cultural obsession with over-individualism and instant gratification.