Be that person…

Image reads "be the person you needed when you were younger ", black text on white background with line drawn flower garland between words

I said I’d talk more about why I was starting this blog…this is one of the main reasons…

I grew up in the 80s and 90s…being gay was really not OK in my world back then…it was weird at best, something to ridicule if you were a harmless camp old queen☆ like Kenneth Williams or Frankie Howerd…at worst, it was depraved, perverse, shameful…and of course, when HIV and AIDS hit the headlines, it was a deadly scourge…

THAT kiss, Anna Friel (swoon) and Nicola Stephenson had as Beth & Margaret on Brookside happened in 1994…I was 17 and it was the first ‘mainstream’ lesbian kiss, that is, it was shown before the watershed…It is the only lesbian kiss I remember seeing until Willow & Tara in Buffy…7 years later!

I’m pretty sure there were others…I have vague memories of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit being on TV, but they are mostly of a squirming discomfort in case my parents thought I was too interested…and abject horror because here was all I feared…disgust, rejection, attempts at curing homosexuality…

And there was Queer As Folk too…but by then I was in a relationship with a man, deeply in denial and avoided anything overtly ‘gay’ with steely determination…I’d persuaded myself I wasn’t gay, I couldn’t risk the cracks that might appear in my carefully constructed closet if I let myself explore it…The Buffy thing was accidental, I was hooked on the series so I couldnt just turn away…

And I never saw the L Word, until I came out and my friends insisted I binge watch it as a rite of passage…but that’s another story…

Let’s skip to the end…it still frustrates me that queer☆ people are still so poorly represented in general media…I’ll talk another time about how unsatisfactory some portrayals are…how even when the queers are visible, it’s almost always white gay men…

So, in my own small way, I’m beginning to be the person I needed when I was younger…

The lesbian who looks ‘a bit gay’ but not necessarily butch…the femme/butch divide is a whole other issue for the future…

The lesbian who holds hands with & kisses her wife in public…not graphic PDAs you understand – the kind of quiet, everyday intimacy that cis-het☆ couples take for granted…

The lesbian who will say what she is at the pub, at work, on the school run…because she knows what she is, she’s not ashamed and she knows that one day, there might be a little girl or a confused teenager who just needs to see that there are other humans like her in the world…and it’s OK…

Of course, it’s not only young lesbians I want to reassure…

When we are visible in our difference, we give others permission to be different…we encourage everyone to learn about, understand, accept, and respect differences…I’ll talk about the importance of intersectional inclusivity another day too…

That’ll do for today, I want to keep things fairly short & sweet for now…

So, please, whoever you are, whatever you do, find a way to be the person the younger you needed in their life…be seen, be heard, be kind…

Love, Lx

☆I’ll write about some of these words soon

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