London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival opens tonight!

The 24th Annual London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival kicks off this evening, starting off a two week celebration of all the best queer cinema from around the world.

The festival begins with the world premier of The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, a true tale of a woman who defied the conventions of the 1800’s by living with her female partner. Whilst keeping her lesbian lifestyle secret, Miss Lister documented her life, using her own unique code, in a diary which has only just recently been deciphered. This film will be the first time many have encountered the story of the woman who has been called Britain’s first modern lesbian.

Another film not to be missed is I Killed My Mother, the multi award winning debut from young French Canadian director Xavier Dolan. Whilst the story is about the sour relationship between a gay teen and his mother, the boy’s sexuality takes a back-seat to the action – making it a refreshing coming of age tale.

For more ideas on films to see and exciting goings on, watch the video here to see the festival organisers give their favourite festival picks. Enjoy the fest!

By: Sarah Barnes, 17.03.2010 | Comments (1)
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New Feature: MEN heat up Soho

A week ago, some friends and I went along to Madame Jojo’s to catch the awesome MEN. Of course, we were all big fans of Le Tigre so were excited to see what JD Samson and her MEN could pull out of the bag. Let’s just say, we came away from Madame Jojo’s that night absolutely smitten!

Damn-fine illustrator and music writer, Thomas Leadbetter was part of out happy little gang that night – and he was super-eager to review the gig! Read his fantastic full review, and see pics of the performance, here.

My personal highlight of the night was Credit-Card Babie$, so I just thought I’d share this video I found of the band performing an acoustic version of that track. The pared down nature of this version really emphasises the sweetness of the song… despite all the ‘fuck’s and ‘cock’s flying around!

By: Sarah Barnes, 26.01.2010 | Comments (0)
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Lesbian Mothers are in Glamour

An array of February issues are beginning to hit the newsstands and love is most definitely in the air down in the ‘editorial well’ of many women’s publications.

To celebrate all things Valentine’s Glamour Magazine has a piece entitled ‘Secrets of Happy Couples’ where 6 partnerships give their formula for a real-life happy ever after. What is striking about this piece is that Glamour has clearly been thinking outside the heteronormative box; they chose to represent a lesbian partnership within their collection of couples. Not only that, but a lesbian partnership raising a family!

If you can’t read the text, scanned above, here’s an insight;

Cat – We wore traditional white wedding dresses. Now we have three sons. Jen carried my embryo for number three, and I’m pregnant with number four, hers!

Jennifer – But, really, we’re an ordinary couple.

Cat – It’s true. We’re so blessed to have been able to create our own destiny.

For me, this is a cause for a little ‘Yippee!’; coverage of same-sex attraction and lesbian relationships in some women’s mags usually only goes as far as questions from confused individuals on Agony Aunt pages or tips on how to do some Katy Perry style experimenting. As David Gauntlett says, in his chapter on Women’s Magazine’s and Identities, in Media, Gender and Identity (2005 ed);

It is regrettable that lesbian sexuality is not routinely included within the magazines’ celebration of sexuality – which could cause misery and psychological trauma to young women trying to come to terms with their excluded desires.

So, well done Glamour on making this small step to show readers that all forms of female romantic (mustn’t forget the romance, we are coming up to Valentines after all!) and sexual expression are valid.

An Aside

The title for this blog post is a little nod to an old tutor of mine, who worked as an artist creating billboard interventions under the name Saatchi and Someone in the early 1990’s. His first intervention was changing a United Colours of Benetton poster so that its ‘logo’ read Lesbian Mothers are Everywhere. This piece of ’subvertising’ coincided with the Conservative government’s introduction of Clause 28, an infamous legislation which outlawed the presentation of gay relationships within UK schools.

More to read;

A piece in The Independent today about Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg’s pledges for furthering gay rights.

By: Sarah Barnes, 13.01.2010 | Comments (0)
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