Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Are we as far as we think we are?

Friday night in the big city…after a hard week’s graft this boi wanted a simple thing: a lesbian club to kick back, have a drink or 2 with my mates and dance. Easy no? Here we are in 2008, London: city of more lesbians than you can shake a Jessica rabbit-tail at. Lesbians have civil partnership, protection from hate crime and something called a double trouser slender bender but check this: unless it happens to be the third Friday in the month of june on a blue moon in Aquarius if you wanna shake your booty better plan small moves.
We got regular clubs if by club you mean bar. You can go out any night of the week and its true someone will be flicking their ipod or spinning some vinyl through a sound system, you may get taxed or it may be free but whether we’re talking Candy (bar), First Out or Glass (bar) the dance floor’s as bijou as a candy girl go-go’s thong. I love all of those fine establishments by the way, and wanna say a quick “Hey. Thanx for being there, some of you for so many years donkeys think you’re old. Long-running lesbo establishments we love you.”

Where are the London lesbian clubs? I know we got 2nd Friday of the month clubs, 3rd, 4th and 1st Friday of the month clubs…what happens in a 5 week month btw? I don’t wanna consult an almanac b4 I go out…I just want a regular club, oh and is it too much to expect the club to be near a tube station…apparently so. My fruitless, unless I wanted mixed and out of central London, search for a lesbian club got me thinking. Have we come as far as we think we have? There were weekly lesbian clubs in the ‘90s – sure they closed down all the time and opened up somewhere else, but weekly they were. Are we one step from Equality, or two steps back?

Where too are the lesbian theatre companies? Anyone remember Red Rag, Slip of the Tongue, Ruby Tuesday, Gay Sweatshop? Of those Ruby Tuesday is still going, the rest have gone and haven’t been replaced. Sure we have some wonderful and talented lesbian performers – individuals producing great lesbian work. We haven’t got a strong, long established lesbian theatre company with a body of work behind it, funded and producing great lesbian theatre. Tara Arts, Talawa, Graeae may be having to cope with reducing arts funding but they are out there putting on shows their audiences want to see and informing people outside their communities, helping to entertain and change the world. Why aren’t we doing that? I know a lot of lesbians working in theatre, and it’s a reasonably homophobia free industry. Venues, notably the Drill Hall, will put on lesbian shows, in fact are very keen to know about quality work, so what’s stopping us?

Have we all settled down? Maybe lesbians don’t go to lesbian clubs, or want to see lesbian shows…is nobody coming out, drinking hard, searching for Ms Right or Ms 2Nite, is no-one in need of a little lesbian culcha? Lesbian pantos, lesbian farces, lesbian dramas – these are all much more enjoyable on the stage than IRL. Its not like we can stay home, awash with images of lesbians on our tv screens. Though you know, if there was a lesbian channel, it would be run by your ex, 24/7, most probably ranting about you.

Supply & demand, my son. Clubs and companies fold because they don’t do the door takings. If lesbians don’t fill the floor or squeeze their fine tushes onto theatre seats then there is no business, especially show business. Aren’t there more of us? I know we don’t breed so much but we must clone or something because there are more dykes than ever before, and if you count bi-curious well... Ultimately is it our own fault we don’t have regular clubs and shows, films, a tv channel or 2? Lesbians are very good at blaming their exes, so I blame all of mine for this current situation. You blame all of yours and while we’re all pointing the finger, remember there’s one finger pointing away and three pointing back. It is down to all of us We also have more power than ever before. We got more creativity, more inspiration, more talent. I know there still is demand: The York Lesbian Arts Festival brings together hundreds, on occasions thousands, of lesbians under the same roof to share, celebrate, chat, cruise, do what we do. It’s possible. The time is now, the power is you.

Know more about this subject? Got an opinion? Post a comment and let me know.

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