queer-woman

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Queer history is hard to come by popularly. We don’t have the same traditions that pass on history, we don’t get our heritage from our families. I’ve heard people on tumblr and other venues speak on this before. 

Here is a generation of older people speaking on what it’s meant to be queer in the past. 

Queer life was so different. Community was different. We came from such a scary place. Times have changed. I cried for their past pain, our present privilege.  

I’m not saying we should ruin the lesbian tag for straight men. But we should. They took it from us, but the queer community is pretty badass we can take it back.

And what I suggest is just flood it with lesbian stuff made for lesbians, sfw nsfw idgaf just anything that wasn’t made for straight boys consumption
And this will have to come from all the queer community, not just the lesbians alone. They have had our backs so many times it’s time we have theirs. (Terfs dont reblog)

a long journey

When Carmilla was in it’s infancy, just a shared document between Jordan, Steph and myself, I had no idea how much the show would come to mean to me. Not just as a writer, or even as member of a creative team for the first time in my life, but as a queer woman navigating a world where queer women are either sex objects or the butt of jokes.

For much of my life, my identity has been wrapped up in fandom and shipping and all the other fanish things. I don’t think I was ever as cringe-worthy as some of the folks you hear about in convention horror stories, but I was pretty damn bad. In high school, I would never shut up about anime. I turned in fanfiction for class, I read every book I could get my hands on that focused on women and the relationship between them. I was frustrated by the stories I read. They were classics, good stories. But they were lacking, and I could never really figure out why.

My coming out story is fantastically boring: I liked Sailor Moon, but I loved Haruka and Michiru. I was obsessed at the age of 11 and 12. I talked about them incessantly. My mom, one day when driving back from Randolph after a checkup before my brother was born just flat out asked me, around the Berlin exit, if the reason I was so obsessed with these cartoon lesbians was because I was one too.  I had to think about it. I said yes. 

Identity over time grows and changes, but the stories I like did not.  I did my straight pairing shipping and my guy slash shipping, but I always came back to femslash, because it was media that spoke to me, and there wasn’t a lot of that out there when I was a kid. From a young age, I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to tell stories that I wanted to read. They were about lesbians, bisexual women who loved other women. They were about people who didn’t fit into the norm of society and that was okay.

I first read Carmilla when I was in high school - maybe 10th or 11th grade. Definitely in Jericho, at any rate, and I didn’t think much of it, beyond finding the prose lovely and the story lacking. Laura and Carmilla both die, and you - the reader - are supposed to be at peace with this. But why do they have to die?  History - as I grew up to become a student of it - tells us that it is a product of its times. It reflects those attitudes. But when you’re going through high school hell, when you’re young and queer, and when your personal life is in shambles because of circumstances outside of your control, reading about dead lesbians is really not great for your mood. 

So I stopped reading about lesbians. I focused on more “socially acceptable” shipping when I posted about it publicly online. I never stopped being one, though. And that need for lesbian representation stuck with me.

Fast forward a decade and I’m sitting in a hangout with Steph and Jordan for the first time, listening to them spitball ideas back and forth, feeling overwhelmed. This show we were discussing, this show that didn’t exist, was exactly what I would have wanted to watch in high school. It fell into that nerdy-quirky-wonderful space that so captured my attention as a kid. I was in awe of what we were doing.

And, two years later, I still am in awe.

I’m in awe of the growth I’ve gotten to see in our actors. Kaitlyn has created their own show with Sharon, and Sharon’s worked on so many neat projects I can’t keep track of them. Annie and Aaron have both played two characters on the show, while creating their own short film together! Not to mention Annie randomly appearing in cereal commercials during the Olympics (and Many Plays) and Aaron taking stunning photographs of some of the cast and others. Matt continues to be the most good-natured guy around, letting me make him dump fish on himself and bray like a donkey (I’m sure he thinks I have it in for him with these b-side stories I’ve done), while acting in Many Plays and travelling the world. Our newcomers for season two, Ian, Sophia, Nicole and Shannon brought wonderful insights and perspectives, as well as some of my personal favorite characters of the show. It’s amazing to see all three of them randomly pop up in Toronto-based TV when I’m least expecting it! And mad props to the Carmilla fandom for keeping us all in the loop.

I am in awe of you guys. 

And then there’s our leading ladies.

Elise and Natasha have grown so much as actors throughout the course of three seasons of Carmilla. They’ve breathed life into these characters that Jordan lovingly created. It’s amazing to see people, real, actual people that you, know become someone else before your eyes to tell a story that you so desperately needed to hear as a kid. I cannot thank either of you guys enough for all the long hours you put into to learning and breathing and inhabiting these characters, because they are so damn important. Not just to me, but to every single young person out there watching the show. The gift they’ve given Jordan and me, to see the scripts come to life, is nothing compared to the gift they’ve given those young kids.  

I am in awe. Every time I rewatch the show, I am in awe.

I needed this show when I was younger and it wasn’t there. I helped to make it become a reality for all the kids who came after me.

And I couldn’t have been more proud of that.