Lesbians On TV – A View From EffiMai

2 May

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It always happens. When I say always, I don’t mean the type of ‘always’ you say when you’re lying to a partner about how many times they’ve been good in bed. What I’m actually talking about is when a lesbian or a lesbian couple join a cast of a series, it’s all people can talk about. It’s actually always the only thing people seem to talk about and it can sometimes become a bigger deal than the actual show. Whether they are slagging them off or following their every move like some sort of weird shadow.

Take Skins for example. It had a good couple of series, Effy’s silence and Chris’s death were the main talking points. But then when the third series comes around Emily and Naomi is all anyone and-their-next-door-neighbour’s-cat can chat about. Did it look like they were portraying it like a proper lesbian relationship, did they have sex like proper lesbians, did they look like proper lesbians and any other proper lesbian fuelled questions you can think of. Just ridiculous. (Although I may just have issue with this programme anyway, just because any time I introduce myself, I get ‘Like skins?’ YES.)

In 2008, everyone was ‘Utterly and completely shocked’ when Erica Hahn left Grey’s Anatomy. It wasn’t that she was a great actress, she wasn’t, and it wasn’t because she won loads of awards, she didn’t, it was because she played a character who had fallen for a girl. Now if this was a straight person that left I’m guessing no would raise a perfectly plucked eyebrow over the whole thing. But scandal that it was a lesbian leaving the show. Discrimination! How could they have done that! Chill out. Arizona is so much fitter anyway.

So now that Lip Service is back on our screens, every single pointless comment that could be thrown at it has been. There were two that really got to me and made me want to knock someone out with a small piano. One, was that someone had quoted that it wasn’t realistic because Glasgow isn’t crawling with lesbians. So hold the friggin phone! Where the characters go out, is a GAY bar, so of course there will be lesbians there. And if you have a group of gay girls, chances are they will know more gay girls. Annd what is it with using the verb ‘crawling’!? Like the gay women are literally infesting the city with their baggy jeans and smouldering eyes.

The second comment was that Tess Roberts doesn’t portray a realistic lesbian. After re-watching the first series the reason they must be saying it is that she wears dresses and has much longer hair than the rest. Shockingly enough, I wear dresses and have the same sort of hair as her and yet I’m still allowed to carry the lesbian card. The character played by Fiona Button does have some pretty hot sex scenes and she plays a really good part of the group. The reviewer must have chosen not to see this. The blonde hair and the fact she is so pretty must have been blinding him too much to pay attention to her brilliant acting. Duh.

In Desperate Housewives Katherine fell for Robyn the ex-stripper and left the street. This got slated to high heaven too. The whole media seems to get so obsessed with the lesbians like its still such a novelty. And if they’re not commenting on all the actions or things that ‘could appear to be discriminative’ they’re saying that the gay girls are not realistic because they’re too girly. This obviously doesn’t happen in every show or series but it seems to be a running theme. This week Lip Service had a gorgeous sad heartbreaking storyline and yet all the media still could say was ‘Frankie and Cat in Lesbian Romp,’

Seriously people need to shape up and realize that even though the actresses portray gay actresses, it shouldn’t be such a massive deal, and the sex, kissing or even the uttering of the word shouldn’t over shadow the plot. Because if you’re like me, I get so bugged by it all and end up ripping up the papers, leaving random slating comments about it on websites, or, well writing an article like this.

Lip Service Adds Another Lovely Lady

1 May

 

Another new face will join the cast of BBC3’s Lip Service this week. Neve McIntosh will make her first appearance in this Friday’s episode.

 

The 40 year old actress is Scottish born and bred and has previously appeared in Doctor Who and Gormenghast but is probably most recognised for her role as Sister Donna Rix in the BBC3 medical drama Bodies.

 

Neve will play Lauren, a fashion magazine editor. Lauren is in a long-term relationship with art dealer Jo (played by Valerie Edmond), although with such a pressured work-load and steady relationship, driven Lauren sometimes misses the excitement of her twenties. And when Sadie comes into her life, temptation comes calling.

 

This was the first time in her 20 year career that Neve has filmed love scenes with a woman and she has admitted to being nervous beforehand.

 

“This was my first time filming a sex scene with a girl — so I’m glad Natasha was so cool.” she said. “We looked after each other and made sure we were always comfortable so that we could relax and have fun with it.”

 

“Our scenes are very cheeky and flirty so we giggled an awful lot — sometimes too much, so we got into trouble.”

 

Tokyo Rainbow Pride Parade Attracts Thousands

30 Apr

 

Yesterday afternoon saw the return of LGBT Pride to Tokyo. The Rainbow Pride Parade attracted around 2,500 people to the Japanese capital’s Shibuya district.

 

This was the first parade organised by Tokyo Rainbow Pride, a private organisation formed last year which aims to support the rights of sexual minorities. They had hoped for a bigger turnout.

 

Tokyo first held a Gay Pride event in 1994 but problems within the organising group meant that the 2007 Parade was the last one for three years.

 

There were no Pride celebrations in Tokyo in 2011 but this year there are two. Another event, Tokyo Pride is planned for August.

 

“Compared with that of New York or London, Japan’s awareness of sexual minorities is quite low,” said Sayaka Kato, a spokeswoman for the Rainbow Pride Parade.

 

“I’m afraid Japan has yet to have a culture of accepting diversity.”

 

The group hopes to stage a gay pride parade with 50,000 participants within the next five years by expanding its networks among not only Japanese but foreign residents.

 

Sunday’s crowd of LGBT people and their supporters marched and danced down the streets dressed in flamboyant and colourful costumes, waving flags and banners, celebrating love, togetherness and, of course, pride for their culture.

Lesbian NYC Mayor Hopeful Quinn To Wed In May

28 Apr

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Christine Quinn is the first female and first openly gay Speaker of the New York City Council, she is expected to run for Mayor of New York next year and on the 19th May she will marry her partner Kim Catullo in Manhattan.

In 2007, the New York Post named Quinn the third-most powerful woman in the city, she has been a member of the council since 1999 and she supported marriage equality in New York, which came into effect on July 24 2011.

In recent polls, Christine is top choice amongst New Yorkers to be the next Mayor.

She and Kim, a corporate lawyer, met through friends in 2001 and now live together in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Quinn said after hearing people talk about their weddings her whole life, it’s refreshing to be planning her own.

“Marriage is one of those few words in the world you don’t have to explain,” she said. “You say I’m getting married. Everybody knows what that means.”

Moscow Makes Plans For 2012 Pride Parade

26 Apr

Activists are planning to hold a Pride parade in Moscow on 27th May. It will be the seventh consecutive year that organisers have filed applied for permission to hold a Moscow Pride march. Previous applications have always been rejected.

The leader of the Russian LGBT movement, Nikolai Alekseyev says the planned theme of the event will be the Russian ban on ‘gay propaganda’.

The parade organisers will not insist on a specific venue, he said. “Everything will depend on the government’s decision.”

He added: “If the Moscow authorities do not offer us anything, we will hold the parade without an agreement and file a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.”

The ECHR has previously ruled that Russia’s ban on gay pride parades violates the European Convention.

Russia recently vetoed a statement at the G8 summit in Chicago concerning protections for sexual minorities.

The law penalising “the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors” was accepted in several Russian regions to mixed reactions amongst the Russian public, where anti-gay sentiment remains strong even though Russia decriminalised homosexuality 19 years ago.

Activists believe that the aim of protecting youth is just a smokescreen for banning all public LGBT events and have vowed to take the fight against the bans to the European Court of Human Rights.

Representatives of the gay community in St. Petersburg where the ban is also in place have announced plans to hold a gay pride parade on 7th July.

Olympic Pride Event Cancelled

25 Apr

It has been announced that the Clapham Common Pride House festival has been cancelled. It was hoped that the event would promote the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and create awareness of homophobia during the London Olympic Games.

Despite receiving wide support in the media and from numerous celebrities including John Amaechi and Stephen Fry, the organisers have said they were unable to find sponsorship or a headline act for the planned 18 day festival.

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Labour Lambeth Borough Councillor Christopher Wellbelove said: “Sadly it seems that the event has been cancelled which is of course very disappointing for many who hoped to attend the event.”

“I do hope that Pride House will exist in some form during the period at the London 2012 given it aims of raising awareness of homophobia in sport are still extremely relevant, as is having a positive representation of the LGBT community at this and future games.”

Stonewall have said the cancellation of the festival will come as a blow to Britain’s gay community, with the Olympics organisers failing to promote sexual diversity.

A spokesperson said: “Unfortunately they have done little, if anything, to promote or reach out to the LGBT community. There is one openly gay paralympian show jumper on team GB. Given the Olympic Games legacy which said they would promote diversity, they are ignoring 3.7m around the country in sport.”

Organisers hope that Pride House will still feature among the line up of proposed Olympic Houses in London this summer.

NZ Lesbians Asked To Leave Bar After Kiss

23 Apr

A New Zealand couple believe their human rights were breached when they were removed from a bar after kissing. The bar has rejected the claim, saying they were asked to leave because they were on top of a table and not behaving appropriately.

Rebekah Galbraith, 22, and her girlfriend were asked to leave the Wellington bar on Sunday morning. They have since posted an open letter to ‘the management of Public’ on Facebook and say they are preparing a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.

 

 

 

 

Nearly 500 people have commented on the open letter and a campaign has begun to boycott the bar.

The bar’s owner, Gina Mills, says it is gay-friendly and has gay employees. She added: “We do not discriminate on any level against anybody, it’s wrong. It’s very upsetting to be accused of that kind of behaviour. I abhor it.”

Rebekah said “At 2.50am, as we were leaving for a taxi, I leaned over to briefly kiss my girlfriend, something I had not done yet as we were in the company of friends, when a doorman abruptly tapped me on the shoulder and informed both of us to leave, immediately.”

As they walked out, Galbraith held her girlfriend’s hand, looked at the man and said, “This wouldn’t have happened if we were a straight couple.”
Ms Mills was not at the bar when the women were told to leave, but said she had talked to the doorman about the incident.”He said yeah, smirked and said, ‘I wish it was different but it’s not'”.

“His version is different obviously. Apparently they had alcohol and they were not sitting on the seat. They were on top of the table and all I can say is he felt they were behaving inappropriately.”

Mrs Mills said the doorman walked over to the couple and asked them to tone it down, but they became aggressive so he asked them to leave.

She said he had a right to ask people – no matter what their sexual orientation – to leave if they became aggressive.

Galbraith said she felt their human rights had been breached. “We were targeted. Until last night I never had any issues going out in public and, for lack of a better word, I am proud to be gay.”

The couple said they were speaking out only to give their side of the story after a debate erupted on Facebook and Twitter.

World’s First Gay And Lesbian Art Museum

23 Apr

The Leslie/Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art has received accreditation from the state of New York, recognising it as an official museum and possibly the first gay and lesbian art museum in the world.

The LLM is in the SoHo district of New York City. It collects, preserves and exhibits visual arts created by LGBT artists or art about LGBT themes, issues, and people. It was named in honour of its two founders Fritz Lohman and Charles Leslie.

The permanent collection contains the works of a number of well-known artists such as Andy Warhol, Delmas Howe, Jean Cocteau, Deni Ponty and Robert Mapplethorpe making it one of the most important archives of LGBT visual arts in the United States.

It is an unique non-profit arts cultural institution established in 1990 to be a safe haven for that art which is often excluded from main stream exhibitions and textbooks and looked upon as taboo or less than important or embracing by historians and critics.

The institution’s current exhibition, ‘The Piers: Art and Sex Along the New York Waterfront’, runs until 7th July and examines the uses of the Hudson River docks by artists and gay subculture, focusing specifically on the ways in which the gay rights movement and Stonewall transformed New York City’s cultural landscape. It features work by Vito Acconci, Gordon Matta-Clark and David Wojnarowicz.

Leeds Lesbian Fights Her Deportation

22 Apr

Coletane Lopez is 22, she has lived in Leeds since she was 11 years old, she is a lesbian. Last month she was detained by the UK Borders Agency and taken to Yarl’s Wood Dentention Centre in Bedfordshire and told she must return to her country of birth .

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She and her brother were brought to England by their father from Jamaica in 2000 and the siblings only realised that they were in the UK illegally a few years ago and then both made applications to stay in Leeds.

Their parent were removed from Leeds and returned to Jamaica in March 2011. Her brother, Nestfield, was allowed to stay as he is now married to a British National with whom he has two young children.

Coletane made a legal claim for asylum on March 13th, on the basis of her sexuality. Jamaica has been described by human rights groups as the most homophobic place on Earth, due to the hate speech and crimes often directed at LGBT people. As she was being interviewed for her claim, she was detained by immigration officials.

Nestfield says that he fears for Coletane’s safety if she were forced to return to Jamaica.

“At one point she wanted to commit suicide. She said ‘I’m going to kill myself because if I get sent home, I’m going to get killed anyway'”.

He says his sister would have nowhere to go if she is returned to Jamaica as his parents refuse to accept her because of her sexuality. “Every time I speak to my Dad, we have an argument. He says, ‘Have you not thrown her out yet? Don’t give her any money and don’t look after her'”.

Coletane has now been released form Yarl’s Wood but must report weekly to the UK Borders Agency office while her case is being more carefully considered.

Rihanna Tweets About Her Date With A Girl

21 Apr

Rumours of Rihanna being a lesbian are yet again doing the rounds of internet celebrity gossip sites. The gorgeous 24
year old R&B star started this one herself after tweeting about her date with a woman.

“I’m on my first date in almost 2 yearz,” she tweeted. “#datenight my lover for the night @mforde11.”

This refers to her best friend and assistant Melissa Forde, the two have been friends since meeting in their teens.

Rihanna says of Melissa: “I’ve known her ever since we were 14. She transferred to my school in Barbados and we just
clicked. That was a time when I had no girlfriends at all, and neither did she. She was my first real girlfriend and
now she’s almost always with me – we live together. I feel so comfortable when she’s around. I feel like she’s like my
guardian angel.”

The pair were photographed going out for dinner at Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi in Malibu and later leaving hand in
hand before they went to Hollywood nightclub, The Roxbury.

In January, reports surfaced that a model named Natajah Burton was writing a book about her affair with the singer.