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March 4, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Bent

ALMOST (SUDDENLY) FAMOUS

I don’t mean to alarm you, but lesbians are everywhere. From Sappho to the hushed Sewing Circles of Hollywood’s golden age, lesbians have been tipping the velvet underground throughout history, with not so much as a second glance. So why now? Why have we suddenly been thrust into the pink spotlight?

Bisexual chic is by no means a new thing, but it wasn’t until the nineties that the male ambisextrous glam rockers moved aside for the West End thespians. Melissa Etheridge, Ellen and Margaret Cho came into our lives during a decade of plaid, Docs, and denim. But even these women, cherished though they are, are hardly indicative of the archetypal lesbian in the mainstream.

The femme has unconditionally made it onto conventional pop culture’s radar, but the result is hardly authentic. Black Swan, Katy Perry’s adventures in cherry chapstick, and a flurry of ‘lesbian kiss episodes’ dress the fuzz bumper as the latest fashion trend; a fundamentally feminine entity. Honestly, it’s as if we’re written by men who believe sneans are socially acceptable in the boardroom.

And perhaps that’s the underlying critique; men are the majority of writers who pen the femme into popular history. It’s a serious risk these writers are taking, bronzing the lesbian in such a limited mould. We’ve been hijacked for the 18-to 35-year-old male demographic, making representations of the ready-to-drink lipstick lesbian overshadow those of the delightful tomboi, loveable trans, and magnificent butch. Variety is the spice of life, and the scissors sisters of Sappho come in all shapes, all sizes, and all deserve equal adoration.

The attention we’re getting is flattering, but the truth is we’ve been here all along. While I applaud lesbian chic for giving us the spotlight, we’re treated with a degree of insincerity. In favour of a bi-curious house-wife or confused teen sub-plot, the crucial matters of sexual health, marriage equality, and the heartbreaking reality of LGBT suicides are too easily glossed over.

So I’ll keep my reservations about our rise to stardom. Short term, this could just be a fad, gone by lunchtime. I live in hope that if our 15 minutes are signed on for a second season, we choose to shatter the illusion of the male college population and address the delightfully diverse reality of female lady lovin’.

Lesbihonest, we’re here to stay.

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  1. Truthseeker says:

    “So I’ll keep my reservations about our rise to stardom. Short term, this could just be a fad, gone by lunchtime. I live in hope that if our 15 minutes are signed on for a second season, we choose to shatter the illusion of the male college population and address the delightfully diverse reality of female lady lovin’.”

    How are you loving your stardom now?
    I also notice you had a ‘I love the internet’ article – is that love affair over?

  2. Andy says:

    You should be ashamed of yourself, Rebekah. It’s gonna take a bit to right this mess after your feeble attempt to snub out homophobia by creating a partly fictional story and airing it like soiled laundry for the nation to see. You’ve shamed the queer communities of New Zealand and made it that bit more difficult for gay people in Aotearoa. Cunt.

    • Howard Roark says:

      I find your derogatory and negative use of the word ‘cunt’ to be offensive, Andy Boreham.

  3. yetanotherangrylesbo says:

    Ms. Galbraith, in light of your recent sojourn into the spotlight I strongly believe you should resign your post on the UniQ exec, as well as your presidency of The Girl’s Group. And stop spouting your cliche, self important opinions. You sure as hell don’t deserve to represent me, or the rest of the lesbian community. And UniQ are absolute idiots to stick by you. Just yet another representation of the preferential treatment that seems to go on there. You are a service, not a clique; start fucking acting like it. Do not alienate the entire LGBTQI population of Vic for one jumped up little shitstirrer. Ms. Galbraith, I hope your 15 minutes were worth making a complete ass of yourself. You shame us all. Good job. Worst. ‘Queer Rights Advocate’ Ever. You should be unbelievably ashamed of yourself. Stop hiding behind Ms Fowler, and the rest of your little clique, and face the music. I mean, actions have consequences, right? Or does that apply to everyone but you?

  4. Max Hardy says:

    Thank you Rebekah, I found this article interesting. Andy on the other-hand, I find ludicrous.

  5. Jessie says:

    Andy, any discussion of the problems faced by queer New Zealanders should probably not include a derogatory use of female body parts. You realise that gay women are part of the New Zealand queer community too right? Based on your comments here and elsewhere I’m not sure that you do, which makes it highly ironic that you would choose to pick on Rebekah as someone whose actions have made life difficult for gay people. Dick.

  6. Andy says:

    @Howard: You speak of my derogatory and negative use of the word ‘cunt’ as if there is any other usage,

    ‘Cunt’ is meant to be an offensive word, and I’ve used it with that in mind. I think it adequately illustrates my anger at this entire fiasco.

    ‘Dick’ has a nice ring about it. Thanks, Jessie.

  7. Andy says:

    @Max: If you find this article interesting, then I must say I am absolutely relieved and elated that you find me ludicrous. Thank you.

  8. Mikee says:

    Please, please, people! Let’s not go banding about with our cunts and dicks all willy nilly, or hypocritically even. All cunts and dicks should be treated equally.

    ….well, relatively speaking I mean. Personally I think standing and not having to wipe after a piss to be a hell of an advantage. By that’s just my opinion mind you! Otherwise, I’m all for cunts, like them quite a lot in fact. I’d even go so far as to say that apart from mine own dick, I WELL prefer cunts over dicks anyday. I mean what’s more attractive; a glistening wet cunt, or a sweaty dick? The answer is obvious is it not people. :-)

    But regardless of the attractiveness of cunts (or dicks, if so inclined), sure’ll we can all agree that they should be kept well tucked away out of respect for public decently. (Unless you’re a naturalist I suppose (try it, it’s actually quite nice)).

    Which is kinda why I feel a little sorry for Rebekah and co. Not saying that cunts were being waved about all willy nilly, heavens no! (Although, if they were, PLEEEASE someone say they’ve got it on YouTube, and send me the link ;-) ). Rather, that maybe her/their public decency glands were perhaps lacking in vitamins or something. ‘Cause, well, some things just aren’t meant to be a spectator sport, regardless of orientation or the hour. And it’s a helluva shock to find sexual preference isn’t an automatic qualifier for always being right or moral superiority, isn’t it. Shit, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong. Everyone on reflection has to swallow their pride and face that truth at some point.

    And you were wrong in this instance weren’t you girls, you cheeky little minx’s. Tsk tsk! Not only did you fib about “it was only a kiss”, but you failed to appreciate the big sign that’s up in every bar, pub, and RESTAURANT in New Zealand – basically that the manager has the right to refuse service and doesn’t even really need a reason to ask you to leave. Hell, I’ve been asked to leave veritable dives for reasons MUCH pettier than you claim; fair enough, no skin off my nose. So when you start cavorting in someplace like a restaurant, with a considerably higher expectation of customer behavior than said “dives”, what did you really expect?

    HA! Rhetorical question! I know EXACTLY what you expected! Mwa ha ha!
    What you expected was – the result you got! ;-D
    And that’s where you stuffed up. See, there’s nothing worse, when trying to put forward an argument for a cause, than layering on the bullshit (writers of The Union should’ve taken note of that simple truth btw). Getting kicked out of a restaurant for “only a kiss” between lesbian love birds would’ve garnered much sympathy, ergo the intial media coverage from your clever plan. The problem with bullshit is that it always gets found out (must be the smell). So behaving in such a way that’d get ANYONE kicked out of a restaurant, then twisting the facts to manufacture sympathy for a cause….. well, where there’s a whiff, bullshit is sure to follow. And that whiff was mighty strong from the get go.

    Heart was in the right place girls, but the plan sorta sucked arse. And, dare I say it, your attitude over the whole matter was pretty shit. Further even, from reading comments roundabout it would seem you’ve managed to piss off both camps of the campaign.

    …….okay, well actually I have to tip my hat at you for that one. *tipping hat* Being a practiced antagonist myself – for antagonism is a skill, not a trait – I’m wholly impressed that you managed to piss off such a wide range of folk; cunts and dicks everywhere are getting their knickers in a twist. Well done! :-) You’ve got the anti-gay folks crying over displays of loose moral conduct, you’ve got the pro-gay folks irked that you’ve dragged the rest of gay society (by association) through the mud with you, and you’ve got the hospitality industry up in arms crying, “Oi! Not there! I serve meals on that table top, dammit!” (It could’ve been argued of course that love oysters are a form of seafood, but they probably wouldn’t have seen the funny side.)

    I know we shouldn’t hold our collective breaths waiting for the apology. After all, a good antagonist NEVER apologises. But maybe down the line you can reflect on this whole affair, learn from it, even mature a little – you know, learn about appropriateness and socially acceptable public behavior. Cause if a dick like me can learn to not swear at children throughout the supermarket at christmas time, I’m sure cunts like youes can learn not to get your freak on in a posh restaurant. Eh. :-)

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