Here’s a loaded and lively ‘L’ with lots to include. Grab your leather and lube, and don’t forget your lesbi-friends…
Look the word up in a dictionary and you’ll find ‘lesbian’ defined as “a woman who is sexually, emotionally and romantically attracted to other women.”
While that definition is indeed true, it’s also somewhat perfunctory and limiting, not taking into account the fact that the word itself has broader social, cultural and personal implications and associations.
The “lesbian community” also encompasses, encourages and embraces huge diversity: from butch to femme, with many shades of grey in between, there is no one way to identify or define lesbianism. In this postmodern, post-feminist or queer world, how does one define the word, let alone interpret or define what any such definition or definitions embody or imply?
The existential questions of “Who am I?” or “What is a lesbian?” can prove troubling because they are paradoxical. Such questions ostensibly ask for a description of one’s very essence and identity. Social constructionist theory points out, however, that individuals interpret their personal experiences and shape their identities, through the framework provided by the social world.
From the viewpoint of the individual, lesbian identity is discovered through self-knowledge and introspection. But, from the viewpoint of the social constructionist, identity is a construct reflecting the conceptual structure of the surrounding social world.
Perhaps, in the end, the lesbian sociologist Gayle Rubin says it best: “Our categories are important. We cannot organise a social life, a political movement, or our individual identities and desires without them. The fact that categories invariably leak and can never contain all the relevant “existing things” does not render them useless, only limited. Categories like “woman,” “butch,” “dyke” or “lesbian” are all imperfect, historical, temporary, and arbitrary. We use them, and they use us. We use them to construct meaningful lives, and they mould us into historically specific forms of personhood.
“Instead of fighting for immaculate classifications and impenetrable boundaries, let us strive to maintain a community that understands diversity as a gift, sees anomalies as precious, and treats all basic principles with a hefty dose of skepticism.”
Lovely lotions and luxurious lubes. Whether fucking, fisting or fooling around, there’s a lubricant that’s suited for your needs! Different lubes have their pros and cons for different purposes, so it’s important to know the right lube for every occasion.
The best all-purpose lubes are water-based. It’s safe to use with toys and condoms. The only downside is that water based lube can dry up fairly quickly – especially during anal sex as the arse will absorb it. So reapply often!
Silicon lube won’t dry up like water based lubes. It’s especially great for anal sex, as it won’t be absorbed by the arse and it’s safe to use with condoms. Though because it sticks around it can be hard to wash off and will stain your sheets. It’s also not great to use with toys as it can break down the material.
Oil and petroleum based lubes can break down condoms and are generally not recommended. Products such as Crisco can also be used for more vigorous activities where some more heavy-duty lubrication is required – like fisting.
And remember that when it comes to lube – wetter is often better!
Leather-lover men and women have been a (sometimes underground) part of our gay and lesbian scene since way back in the early 1940s, springing up from the racy and sexy biker culture. The wearing of leather – often along with not much else – represents erotic power and masculinity, and its use also opens up many to explore their dominant or submissive fantasises.
Those who love the leather scene is increasingly stepping out from the shadows, holding increasingly popular Leather Pride events around the globe and locally in various cities around Australia.
The Sydney Leather Pride Association explains: “Our aims are to educate and demystify the leather / BDSM lifestyle to the general community with education forums and workshops, while at the same time having fun.”
Melbourne Leather Men do likewise, providing “an outlet for the gay leather men of Melbourne where they can meet within a safe environment that makes them feel comfortable being who they are.”
There’s a Brisbane Leather Pride too. “Celebrating our fantastic leather/kink/fetish lifestyle, we’re inclusive and offer something for everyone, regardless gender or sexuality.”
Shown below, the official Leather Pride flag was designed in Chicago in 1989, and quickly spread around the globe. With black, blue and a single white stripe plus a bold red heart in the corner, its designer Tony DeBlase said he the design elements were open to interpretation…
The L Word
Running from 2004 to 2009, The L Word was a ground-breaking American television drama series that portrayed the lives of a group of lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their friends, family and lovers in Los Angeles, California.
A focus of the show from its early episodes was the polarising character of Jenny, a recent university graduate who moved to Los Angeles with her boyfriend Tim to begin a professional writing career. Her life is turned upside down following a brief encounter with the seductive Marina at a party hosted by next door neighbours Bette and Tina.
Suddenly Jenny finds herself thrust into a whole new world that sees her questioning her own sexual orientation. Other characters included Dana the professional tennis player, magazine writer Alice, player and hairstylist Shane, and Bette’s half sister Kit.
The series touched on various pluck-from-the-headlines topics including celebrities coming out, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, transgender issues, self-acceptance and much more, that saw the series winning numerous awards. During its first season it received critical acclaim and instant popularity for showing lesbian characters that had rarely been seen on television before.
Seriously where would we be without Liza Minnelli? She has embraced everything about the gay community and continually acknowledges and supports it throughout her 65 years in the entertainment industry.
Her career has brought us some of the most flamboyant, theatrically camp and musically astounding performances on stage and screen. Her life is reminiscent of old style Hollywood and her parents were both amazingly successfully and famously tragic, Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli. She has performed and known everyone personally from Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Lana Turner, Mickey Rooney, Robert De Niro, Lucille Ball, Frank SInatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin to name just a few.
Liza grew up in Hollywood on the back lot of MGM – her parents Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli were Hollywood Royalty. Her life has played out across movie theatres, TV screens, newspapers and various notorious gossip websites over the years.
She has battled booze and drug addictions all her life. Minnelli famously married Peter Allen and David Guest in lavish ceremonies, was very good friends and performed with both Freddie Mercury, Elton John and the Pet Shop Boys and won an Oscar for her performance in Cabaret.
Is there any question why she was put onto our gAy to Z list?? If in doubt rent your self Cabaret or New York, New York, open a bottle of red and enjoy some of the campest and most riveting performances on film to date.
Lesbian Vampire Killer
We’re sure many of you have heard of the movie Lesbian Vampire Killers, but have you heard of the woman dubbed with the actual name ‘Lesbian Vampire Killer’? Brisbane’s Tracey Wigginton gained notoriety in 1989 for killing a man, supposedly to drink his blood. There are very few details about the crime as Wigginton pleaded guilty to the charge of murder and therefore never went to trail.
Wigginton (pictured), her girlfriend Lisa Ptachinsk and two other woman were co-accused of murdering Edward Baldock at a park along the banks of the Brisbane River. As the story goes, the four lured the drunken 47-year-old into their car, taking him to Orleigh Park in the inner-city suburb of West End. There it is reported that Baldock was stabbed 27 times by Wigginton.
What makes the story really interesting is that during the investigation the other three co-accused fueled rumours that after Wigginton stabbed Baldcok, she then proceeded to drink his blood. This led to Wigginton being dubbed the “Lesbian Vampire Killer”. However, in her only media interview to date since the murder, she strongly rejected allegations that she was a vampire who had the other three under her spell.
Wigginton was released from prison in January this year after serving 23 years behind bars. To this day the famous Brisbane murder still fascinates the locals and there are now many different theories about her crime.
Common abbreviations beginning with ‘L’:
LDR – Long-Distance Relationship
LFG – Looking For Group
LF1M – Looking For One More
LL – Lipstick Lesbian
LTR – Long-Term Relationship
LYLT – Love You Long Time
And not forgetting…
Now we couldn’t have the letter L without the one word that sparks numerous different reactions at the just mere mention of it. Some people feel empty without it while some people fear it. Some say love is an emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment, while others describe it as a survival instinct. Love might represent human kindness, compassion, and affection, while also referring to a variety of different feelings, states, attitudes and forms of pleasure.
The term also refers specifically to passionate desire of romance, profound oneness or devotion, religious fervour, physical sexual acts, or to a concept that encompasses all of those feelings.
Because of its diverse meanings and the many complex feelings and emotions associated with it, love is difficult to sum up. For this very reason our Brisbane editor says, “love is like perfection, it comes in many different forms.”
What does Love mean to you?
This page was co-written by Heidi Maier, Chad St. James, Matt D’Silva and the team at ACON.