Session title : (variations on) Why do gay men get all the attention/Why aren’t lesbians cool?
Convenor : Stella
A brief, pithy discussion with people coming and going.
All of us (from a range of sexualities and genders) pretty much agreed that lesbians aren’t (perceived as) cool/exciting/interesting and that there are far more gay men on our stages/screens as themselves and as characters.
We think it might be because :
- men get all the attention anyway
- gay men are men, the world’s more interested in men
- lesbians are seen as/presented as : depressed, suicidal, prisoners, objects of hatred; gay men are seen as lovely, cuddly, sensitive, sad, se-obsessed (though perhaps it depends on who’s doing the seeing/showing)
- lack of gender equality in productions/programming across the board means there’s a knock-on effect in how few lesbians we see on stage/on screen (both as characters and as performers)
- the gay men who don’t like lesbians are the same gay men who don’t like any women (see also the lesbians who don’t like men/gay men)
- an assumption that lesbians and gay men have loads in common whereas actually they may have least in common?
- if women stopped moving out of (being moved out of) the workforce when having children, would that fix the pay gap problem?
- we all want representation and visibility but we want it to be GOOD, well-rounded, ‘real’
- young lesbians ARE cool (esp in Skins, Sugar Rush) … so only older/middle aged lesbians aren’t?
- is it just to do with the position of women in society overall?
- who is allowed to ‘judge’ the LGBT characters in a piece? Is a straight director/commissioner allowed (LGBT people in session saying yes, straight director in session saying doesn’t feel is allowed)
- we think perhaps the straight world is much more comfortable with gay men than with gay women
- lesbians are women & it’s just not that good for women overall, so is going to be commensurately bad for lesbians