I came out as a lesbian sometime around 1999. My mother was horrified and her exact response was, “you’re not are you?” Which was delightful and made me feel amazing . 😒
(That’s me in the black System of a Down hoodie with my arms around my girlfriend in 2001.)
I grew up in a vibrant queer community. When my mother finally kicked me out at 17 (2003) I moved in with my then girlfriend and met her extended network of lesbians too. It felt really good to be around people like me, even if I was by and far the baby dyke. I hadn’t even been to a gay bar at this point because I was underage.
I renounced my lesbianism after 27 years, when I broke up with my girlfriend in 2012. It was particularly messy and traumatic, but it allowed me to discover who I was: not a woman and not attracted solely to women.
My lesbian history seems a distant memory now, but having spent such a big chunk of my life in that community, I was shocked to see The Spectator and other British media asking where all the lesbians had gone. (I’m not linking to those articles. Those papers don’t need traffic from our community.)
I put a shout out on my Facebook page and a few lesbians came forward to answer where they had been.
- Why do you think the press don’t know where lesbians are?
It’s a little known fact that lesbians have for a long time been developing technology which means that we cannot be seen by dickheads trying to use us to excuse their transphobia. Following a successful pilot, this has now been rolled out to all non-transphobic lesbians, hence the apparently diminishing numbers.
- So, where have you actually been?
I’ve been in my house, wearing a onesie and writing about fictional girls kissing, as is my lesbian birthright and based on responses on the All Lesbian WhatsApp group, this is a common experience.
- How do lesbians and the trans community move forward together?
Support each other and recognise that we have more in common than different.
- Do you have anything to promote?
I talk about being a gay fangirl in my zines. Check them out here: http://www.etsy.co.uk/shop/foreverincomplete
Kirsty Sarah Miller (Apparently lots of lesbians are called Kirsty! 🤣😂)
1. Why do you think the press don’t know where lesbians are?
Probably because the press are typically homophobic and don’t make it their mission to learn about the depths of lesbian culture.
2. So where have you actually been?
I have been staying at home like everyone else has since March last year. In general, I’m a performing cellist and cello teacher and I love engaging in the arty side of lesbian culture – music, literature, film etc. Incidentally in the future, I’m interested in putting on a concert of classical music written by LGBT+ composers.
3. How do lesbians and the trans community move forward together?
For me, there is no issue or clash between lesbian rights and trans rights or indeed women’s rights in general. It is heartening to personally know lots of lesbians who are fully supportive of their trans siblings, but I feel sad that some lesbians have a hostile view of trans people.
Trans people and their lesbian, gay, bi and queer siblings have always come together in the same spaces and we are better for it. I’m sure this will continue into the future.
4. Do you have anything to promote?
I’m a cellist, cello teacher and Alexander Technique teacher. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under @kirstenmillercello. Also throughout February I’m going to be posting about classical music written by women composers.
I offer cello lesson (currently online) if anyone is interested. I can also record cello for albums, films and virtual concerts.
Sadly I have no live concerts to promote currently due to lockdown.
1. Why do you think the press don’t know where lesbians have gone?
They don’t know where lesbians are because we have been hiding from them. Most self-respecting lesbians don’t buy newspapers that have historically voted against our best interests, which is why I’m still outraged that Joan Armatrading, a black working class lesbian from Birmingham is supposedly a Conservative.
2. So, where have you actually been?
I’ve been in Pontypridd playing Dungeons and Dragons with my cats.
3) How do lesbians and the trans community move forward together?
The only way forward that I can see is mutual support, understanding that our co-existence and happiness is not a zero sum game and a genuine curiosity in what has divided us.
Worldwide we’re seeing a great shift towards far right politics and authoritarian ways of leading. Propaganda is doing a number on civility so that those of us at the bottom, i.e. normal working people, are being routinely pitted against one another, believing that one person’s gain must mean their loss. I don’t believe in such reductionist and curmudgeonly personal politic.
4) Do you have anything to promote?
My band, Trigger Warnings and the Safe Spaces. We practice rarely and have no merch. Please support us.
As you can see, lesbians haven’t gone anywhere. They are here and their community is thriving. It is a wonder that institutions that have always hated the LGBT+ community are even bothering to pretend to care about lesbians, but it is their bigotry of choice at the moment to pit marginalised groups against one another.
Famous lesbian musician Grace Petrie put it perfectly:
Worried about lesbians? Why does the Times not start a lesbian culture column? Why does JK Rowling not use her gargantuan platform to write a world best seller series about a lesbian kid? Why does your concern for lesbian visibility never involve making any lesbians visible?
In closing: long live lesbians and lesbian culture.