There’s something important to the lesbian community that we need to remember – the importance of “being there”. We all have a separate and distinct coming out story, some of you knew from your earliest awareness that you were “different”, some took longer to find their truth. For me it wasn’t about being aware that I was different because my desires are so natural to me that I thought my experiences and thoughts were universal. For me it was a journey to understanding that I didn’t “have to” get married/make babies/be submissive, that my value had nothing to do with the approval of a man.
If I could change anything about my life it would be that I would have just one lesbian friend early in life who I could talk to. Not having a peer group or community to support my self-discovery hindered my ability to understand myself, so I struggled for many years before I came out. I needed the lesbian community and I still do, sometimes I feel a little lost.
The Guys Have It
It’s not surprising that in the LGBTQ community there are more male designated clubs, activities, and events than there are those for females. Males make 20-30% more income than females do, so they have more disposable income to support gay business owners. It’s not unusual for lesbian bars to support themselves with drag shows and dance parties filled with men making most lesbian bars less welcoming to baby lesbians.
What do we want?
Let’s be honest even if the lesbian bar is all about girls for many women alcohol, loud music and “the bar scene” aren’t conducive to building the type of connections that many women crave. Where a club or bar environment may be a comfortable place for a man to go while searching for his truth, it’s less likely to be where a women will find hers. I’ll admit, at the age of 52 and a size 20, hanging out with a bunch of drunk millennials is the last place I would expect to make a connection.
With so many middle-aged lesbian women out there, still in relationships with men, realizing life isn’t getting longer and wondering when will life be what they want it to be we need to be vigilant in our welcome. Where do they go to find help on the path to their truth if we aren’t here to greet them? Where is the door to a welcoming lesbian community?
We, lesbians, are elusive creatures many of whom are suspicious of women who consider themselves bisexual or, those “exploring” their sexuality. But for the sake of those women who’ve struggled through lives of someone else’s truth, can’t we try a little harder to open the door and light the path?
Community Begins With Us
We’ve all lived through our “first time”, or first love, first broken heart, first date, first kiss, first attempts at understanding how easy, beautiful, complicated, and fulfilling loving and making love to a woman can be. We’ve had that moment of understanding of our truth that is so crystal clear that there’s no going back to that other life. I challenge you to be the person you needed as you made it through all those first experiences, the person who could answer questions that you felt silly or uncomfortable about asking, a lesbian who just makes it okay and “normal” to be a lesbian.
In a place where even our government puts us in “second” place, women need to support one another. I’m asking you to begin making our lesbian community a priority that you value and support; That means going out to gatherings, creating or attending social events, speaking out online in social forums, participating in the conversations of lesbians – particularly those in our local community.
What’s The Answer
I don’t have the answers to this question, I know others have acknowledged and tried to address it in the past without success. All I can do is put my time and energy where my mouth is; I’m going to be organizing some coffee meet-ups where all are welcome to come and hang-out – no pressure. Please, consider participating and/or sharing these events with your friends. Somewhere out there, closer than you think, is someone whose life can change for the better through our understanding welcome and support.