They say that coming out is the harder part and sure, it’s fucking terrifying, but in my opinion, trying to find your identity within the queer community is so much harder. I’ve always felt like a bit of an alien around other queer women – I’ve always felt uncomfortable; like I don’t fit in and never will. It’s a horrible, unsettling feeling. I think that the families you make when you are coming out and trying to establish your identity play a really crucial part in your happiness.
I feel like wherever I have lived, the only events ever available for queer women are club nights. If you are a full blown techno dyke, look recognisably lesbian and dig that whole “let’s pretend we’re here for the shitty music but really we all know this is a big ol’ incestuous meat market/how do you like my faux hawk?”, then I’m sure these club nights are right up your alley. I, on the other hand, have taken the hard road and given too many of these intimidating nights a chance but now have come to the realisation that I would rather eat a dick than attend another all girl club night in a hurry. True story.
It really pisses me off how women are still highly under represented in queer culture as a whole. Why is it so hard to find suitable spaces and events that cater to and include queer and trans women, who don’t exist for gyrating against each other to crappy remixes?!
Disappointed and fed up with Auckland not offering me what I wanted, needed and craved, I decided to head along to the big slut that is Mardi Gras and have my little queer virgin cherry popped. It’s no secret that during Mardi Gras, Sydney is transformed into the gayest place on Earth, becoming its own kind of gay mecca playground.
When I first arrived (and vomited a couple of kilos of glitter due to overexcitement), I was instantly disappointed. Mardi Gras, although it boasts a celebration of diversity and acceptance, had a really piss poor timetable of events for queer women and the trans community. Not only that, 80 per cent of the festival advertising I saw on bus shelters, billboards and generally all over the city, featured bronzed, gym-honed, stripped to the waist, DNA-style, cis-gendered MALE bodies. WHAT. THE. FUCK! Where were the women!? I thought I signed up for Mardi Gras, not Mardi Gay.
Fortunately, amongst all this fageratti, I managed to find two events that made me cream glitter. The first one was called Women Say Something and it was a forum full of smart, queer women, speaking about all manner of homo issues. I loved how every single one of these women looked and identified differently from one another but there was still this massive overriding theme of solidarity as a whole. Different identities under one tribe. It was amazing.
The other event was a Mardi Gras recovery party, which was effectively a performance art cabaret night, run by the Sydney Femme Guild. The Love Boat was a raucous celebration of queerness, gender, sexuality, performance and solidarity. The acts varied from adorable to downright dirty, all keeping within the night’s theme of “gay cruise”. There was a moment during the interval of this show that I for once felt a sense of belonging and the thought of returning home the following day made me a bit distraught. I never thought I’d experience this kind of acceptance within the queer community like I did around that group of people.
If you feel as pissed off as I do that there is a severe lack of events for non-techno-dyke queer women like yourself in New Zealand, then let’s fucking get this awesome ball rolling. We are the only ones stopping us from making change.
| Amie Wee