Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stonewall: lesbians pose and award nominees are announced

Stonewall - the UK organisation for LGBT rights and visibility - rocks. We already told you about their awesome campaigns like Some people are gay - get over it and Love your inner lesbian, but there doesn’t seem to be a limit to their awesomeness.

For starters, they have managed to persuade well-known British lesbians to support them in their Some people are gay – get over itanti-bullying campaign, by having them pose in the very cool t-shirts with the same slogan.

These ladies include parliament’s only out lesbian MP Angela Eagle, authors Sarah Waters and Stella Duffy, TV presenter Amy Lamé and comedian Rhona Cameron.

Another reason to love Stonewall is that they have just announced their short list nominees for their Stonewall awards. On November 5 awards will be handed out to those that have made a positive contribution to lesbian and gay equality in Britain in the past year.

Author Sarah Waters

There’s nominees in several categories, namely publication of the year (including G3 magazine), politician of the year (including Lynne Featherstone MP, and Baroness Turner of Camden), writer of the year (including Sarah Waters and Geraldine Bedell), entertainer of the year (including Beth Ditto and Mary Portas), sports award of the year (including Alison Fisher), journalist of the year and broadcast of the year. For a complete list of nominees go here.

What do you think of these initiatives and the nominees?

This post was first published on eurOut.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Studying lesbians: an introduction

A new monthly column that discusses current and not so current research about lesbians and bisexual women

When I am not being an editor for eurOut I actually spend my time in academia, which includes conducting scientific research. This is not just a day job, but it is also a passion. I have always been interested in research, and for a while now I was looking for an excuse to explore some more the vast amount of research that has been conducted about lesbians and bisexual women.

Then I thought some of you might also be interested in learning more about what science (read: mostly social science) has to say about queer women. Hence, a new column was born. Every month I will be focusing on a different study or area of research that has tried to figure out just how we lesbian and bisexual women work. This time I’m just giving you an overview of what kind of things you can expect.

On eurOut we have already paid some attention to some of the scientific research that has been conducted on LGBT issues, including a Dutch study into acceptance of homosexuality in sports, happiness of kids in Rainbow families in Germany and in Denmark, and the psychological and physical health of Dutch lesbians.

Yes, some people do write their theses on the L word

Some of the topics I want to cover in upcoming columns, include research on sexual identity and especially how it relates to everyday social activities and interaction. There’s also some interesting studies on the influence of the media on lesbians and bisexual women. For example, our lovely vlogger Saskia wrote her Master thesis on the influence of the L word on the identity of Dutch lesbians (Look out for a discussion of that study next time).

A totally different area of interest is research into physical and psychological health of queer women. For example, prevalence of somatic and psychological disorders, as well as how we are treated and approached by health practitioners. One of the women whose research revolves around these topics is Dr. Julie Fish, who is also involved in the lesBian breast cancer studies we told you about recently. I’ll be telling you all about her other research soon.

Related to this topic are two very different fields, one is that of biology and neuroscience, where they have done research into possible homosexual genes, dominant sides of the brain, testosterone levels, left handedness, finger length and lots more studies like that that you’ve probably already heard of. I will look into them and tell you what they actually do know for sure and how much has just been exaggerated in the media.

Is there such a thing as lesBian mice?

Another field that’s filled with studies (and theories) about homosexuality is that of psychology. For many years now researchers and therapists have tried to figure out not just what and if something makes you gay, but also what it means to be a lesbian, your quality of life and how we (gays and straights) all could get along a little better. There’s much more to it than that, but I will elaborate more when I get to my psychology issue of my column.
And finally, yes, there will be graphs ;-)

Are these the kind of research topics you would be interested or are there any other areas of research involving lesBian women that you would like to learn more about? Leave your suggestions in the comments and check back next month for the second edition of studying lesbians.

This post was first published on eurout.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Do you love your inner lesbian? – New Stonewall campaign launched

Stonewall – the organisation that you know from such awesome campaigns as “Some people are gay –get over it”, is back with another poster campaign, but this time it’s aimed specifically at lesbians and bisexual women.

The posters with the slogan “Love your inner lesbian” are urging lesbians and bisexual women to take better care of their health. The campaign is funded by the UK’s Department of Health and is especially aimed at surgeries and health care centres.


The Love your inner lesbian campaign is the result of a study Stonewall conducted last year when they questioned 6,000 lesbians and bisexual women about their physical health and experiences with health care practitioners. Apparently, results were shocking.

They found a high percentage of queer women suffer from substance abuse, harm themselves or get excluded from routine testing for things like cervic cancer. In addition it was found that many queer women had difficulty coming out to their doctors, or when they did, they received little understanding or were treated negatively because of it.

One way of improving this situation is to increase lesbian visibility, which should make health practitioners more aware of the problems and needs of queer women and helps us to disclose to our doctors exactly what we want and need. Stonewall hopes these cute posters are the first step in that direction.

What do you think about this campaign? Do you think it will be effective? And just how open are you to your doctor about being queer?

This article was first published on eurOut.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Portrait: Swedish soccer player Jessica Landström

As I have already mentioned on many occasions, I am not much of a sports fan. In fact, I hardly ever play or watch sports and I know pretty much nothing about the topic. However, I do have a great appreciation for women who play sports, especially when it comes to tennis and soccer. So I thought the Women's Euro 2009 was the perfect excuse to tell you all about my favourite soccer player Jessica Landström.

Jessica Landström is a 24-year-old professional Swedish soccer player who is not only very hot, but also an out queer woman. Let’s get her soccer credentials out of the way first and then we can focus on the important stuff.

Landström plays in the Swedish national league for Linköpig FC as well as for the national team. She was also present during the Women’s Euro. She started off on the bench (she has just recovered from a shoulder injury), but at later matches we actually got to see her play. Well, at least some of the time, as I think she played two halves of the final two games for Sweden.

Photo by Robin Nordlund/Bildbyrån

Previously she played for Sweden’s national team in an Olympic qualifying match against Denmark in 2007 and four additional games during the 2008 Olympics. In addition, the Forward was voted best breakthrough player at the Swedish football awards last year.

When she is not playing soccer, the Swedish hottie is busy studying Mechanical Engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Beauty and brains, what more could you possibly desire in a dream woman? Well, she also happens to be 1.80 m tall. Interesting.

Photo by Paola Svensson

Even though it’s very likely that there are quite a number of lesbian and bisexual soccer players, unfortunately only very few are out, including Landström. Landström came out publicly back in November of last year. In an interview with Swedish magazine QX, Landström said that she has always been out to friends and family, just not to the entire world.

Even though her partner Sara was sometimes mentioned in newspaper articles about her, she never openly talked about the nature of their relationship in the press before. Because her partner had been so supportive of her and her career, Landström decided it was about time she acknowledged her properly. The couple has been together for about two years now.

Photo from Svenskfotboll.se

Unfortunately, Jessica Landström doesn’t have her own personal website (yet), but you can find out more about her through her soccer club Linköpig FC. Or you can just continue reading eurOut, as I am sure I will let you know in case anything exciting (no matter how trivial) happens in her life.

This article was first published on eurOut.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New female prison drama Odsúdené to show first lesbian relationship on Slovakian television

Slovakia has just started airing its new drama Odsúdené (Convicted) about a woman’s prison. Yes, it’s like the Slovakian Bad Girls.

The series revolves around Eva Kolarova (played by Zuzana Maurery) who gets send to jail for drunk driving – she crashed into another vehicle, whose passenger died and she almost killed her own son Filipom.

Her husband no longer wants anything to do with her and she only has her parents who stand by her. Now she must adjust to prison life, which is totally different than what she was used to, with its own set of rules.

In the women’s prison it is all about surviving, not losing face, about fear and deceit and more of that kind of stuff. It’s also the kind of place where Sapphic affairs tend to arise. At least, that’s what usually happens on TV shows set in prison and Odsúdené seems no exception.

Judging by the promo of tomorrow’s episode, it looks like the start of a lesBian relationship. Even if it is not, this still means one of the few – if not the first – lesbian kisses on Slovakian television.

Is this the kind of show you would be interested in watching?

New episodes of Odsúdené air in Slovakia on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and also in the Czech Republic on Mondays and Wednesdays. You can find out more on the series' website.

Unfortunately no subtitled episodes or summaries are available yet, but if these lesbian storylines continue I am sure it will just be a matter of time. We will keep you up to date.


This article was first published on eurOut.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

YouTube Thursday: Some of my favourite eighties songs

Once again I thought I’d share with you some of the eighties songs that I really like. Some I have enjoyed ever since I was a little Natazzz, others are more recent loves.

The Human League – Love action


Cutting Crew – (I just) Died in your arms tonight


The Cure –Love Song


Duran Duran –Wild boys

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

British documentary Out At Lunch shows the lives of a group of lesbians at Cambridge

Whoever says that there’s not enough lesBian content, let alone European content, obviously doesn’t spend a lot of time on the internet. Because if you did, you would know there is tons of queer stuff out there.

Even more than lesBian content, there are eager artists and film makers waiting to show their projects to the world. The one thing that is usually lacking is not so much the willingness or the great ideas, but the lack of money to make it happen.

Photobucket


This is also the case with British documentary Out At Lunch, which follows a group of gay girls during their last days at Cambridge University. They have decided to have one final big lunch together to which they have invited all of their parents. Such an awesome idea, but also a very nerve wrecking and confrontational experience.

In Out At Lunch you can see the group of friends prepare for their family lunch event, all the while discussing topics such as being gay, coming out, friendship, parent-child relationships and the value of being true to yourself.

The documentary is currently in post-production and Life Slice Films, created by director Alisa Arnah and producer Emma Brogen, is still looking for donations to have enough money to finish the project and to make it available for the world to see. Luckily, they have already created a trailer, which shows you exactly what you can expect from this film.



Now doesn’t that look like the kind of documentary you would love to watch? I know that I do. I love seeing real lesbians experiencing and talking about every day things, or at least the kind of things that are recognisable to most of us. I can’t wait to watch the whole documentary, which should be ready for viewing by early next year.

This post was first published on eurOut.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Movie review: Aimee & Jaguar

Most of you have probably already seen Aimee & Jaguar– the German movie by Max Färberböck from 1999, about the lives of two women during World War II. For those of you who haven’t or perhaps haven’t even heard of this movie (how is that possible?), let me tell you a little bit what it is about.

The movie tells the story of Felice Schragenheim (played by Maria Schrader), a Jewish journalist working for a Nazi newspaper as well as an underground organization using a false name, and Lilly Wust (played by Juliane Köhler), a mother of four and married to a Nazi officer. Even though the two women are very different and live in different worlds, the women fall in love with each other and embark on a passionate love affair.

Obviously war time is not the ideal time for a romance, and the couple has to face many obstacles, including Lilly’s husband returning home from the front, and trying not getting killed by the Gestapo.

The movie starts with Felice checking out Lilly in the theatre. She even approaches her, but Felice’s friend tells her she doesn’t stand a chance. There’s no way Lilly would ever leave her husband.

Felice decides to woo Lilly by sending her passionate love letters, addressing Lilly as Aimee and signing them as Jaguar. Through the friend of Felice who works for Lilly, the two women get into contact.

It’s clear from the start there’s a great attraction between the two ladies, but whereas Felice is very clear on what she wants, the same can’t be said for Lilly. But luckily she comes around pretty quickly. And it’s hot. These two are very hot together.

However, what Felice and Lilly share goes much deeper than really great chemistry. But making a relationship work is hard enough, even when you don’t have to deal with all the things they don’t have going for them.

The fact that this movie is based on a real story (it was adapted from the book by Erica Fischer that details the actual lives of Lilly and Felice, including many of the letters the women wrote to each other) makes it even more intriguing and captivating.

Over the years I have seen many movies about World War II. Obviously these kind of movies are never a light watch, but it was really interesting and refreshing to see a war movie that focused on a love story between two women.

If you haven’t seen Aimee & Jaguar yet, be sure to check it out. Opinions differ widely about it, but I think it’s a really good movie.

This review was first published on eurOut.