Do you ever have a week with a theme, when the same subject or issue keeps coming up in different ways? This week has been my week of “visible lesbians in culture.” Or rather, where are the lesbians?
1. They weren’t around much in the 80s. The book we’re reading for book club. Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence is a lot about feelings of loneliness, confusion, and isolation and I don’t just mean in the convent. Most women in the book entered the convent in the late 50s and 60s right out of high school and left in the 80s and this book is reminding just how tough times were then and how few and far between role models and resources were not so very long ago.
But, it’s still an issue.
2. They’re struggling to write books. It’s still hard to get published if you’re a lesbian, if your protagonist is a lesbian, and if your genre is crime fiction. So that means, a lot of authors don’t come out of the closet so we don’t know they exist (Patricia Cornwell) and they don’t write lesbian characters so they don’t exist.
3. They’re struggling for visibility in bookstores. Outwrite in Atlanta closed this week.
4. They’re not on tv. Logo sucks, Det. Jane Timoney has that stupid boyfriend, and I have to get my lesbian fix from an old Scottish series viewed in pieces on youtube. I mean, come on.
5. They are in the movies! In the interest of ending on some optimism, I’ll count Albert Nobbs here even though I’m actually not sure how Nobbs would identify. But, here we have an exploration of gender, identity, and sexuality that doesn’t come around all that often. And Janet McTeer rocks.
Anyone seen it?