Won’t anyone think of Canberra’s Lesbians?

johnboy 10 December 2010 17

PinkPaper.com is disturbed by research showing more than half of Canberra’s lesbian and bisexual women have been in an abusive relationship.

The article goes on:

The survey also showed that 38 per cent said they had been discriminated against and the vast majority reported suffering verbal abuse. Others had been spat on, bullied at work or abused by straight men whose sexual advances were rejected.

Also, 75 per cent said they did not feel strongly connected to the territory’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, although 70 per cent said some or most of their friends were lesbian or bisexual.


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17 Responses to Won’t anyone think of Canberra’s Lesbians?
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Homeless Homeless 12:52 pm 13 Dec 10

I was at a bar in Sydney once and saw this nice Asian woman who was wearing a really nice dress. It was a Greek style one, which I knew because I have several Greek friends and one or two Greek relatives. Anyway, I walked over to her and said “That’s a nice dress.” To which she replied. “I’m a lesbian.” Instead of my usual WTF, where did that come from thoughts I replied “Really, so is my uncle! It’s so nice to meet some one else from Lesbos! I bet you brought that dress from his wife’s shop down in the markest by the port hey?” Then I turned to my friends and yelled “Hey everyone, this lady is from Lesbos too.” I actually don’t have any relatives from the Greek island of Lesbos. But I do have a Greek Aunty in Sydney who is interested in buying traditional Greek clothing.
We ended up having a great night of fun and laughs with her. She had just been hit on by three guys in a row and was somewhat over it. I ended up giving her my Auntie’s phone number and said I’ll let my Aunty know the lady from Lesbos was going to give her a call. Ahhh what a night that was. All those Lesbos and Lesbian jokes. And the Neaderthal jokes as well. One guy cam over to talk to her and I said “You don’t want her mate, she’s Greek.” Then several of us burst out laughing. He wandered off with this look on his face like he had just been the but of some one’s joke.
All in goood fun.

cegee cegee 10:52 am 13 Dec 10

There is one category that I disbelieve though –

“abused by straight men whose sexual advances were rejected.”.

I don’t think so. Maybe in the most rare circumstance. Any guy can tell when a gal ain’t interested especially when it’s because they only like other gal’s. This makes us straight men seem like knuckle dragging blue-balled neanderthals. Man that category is definately self flattering. It is like some blokes saying (which some do), “I don’t wanna work with no ‘gay’ guy cause they’ll try an crack onto me” – they shouldn’t flatter themselves cause it ain’t gonna happen. It is making gays out to be sex starved uncontrolled deviants – just like that above category does to us straights.

Oh my, you are very naive. This sort of thing happens quite a lot. I have been on the receiving end of “oh you must be a f***ing lesbo” more times than I care to count. Doesn’t matter if I’m actually a lesbian a not, but turning down a bloke has definitely resulted in this sort of abuse. It’s quite common – my friends and I have all had this happen to us. Sad, but true.

Of course, not all men are like this, and I wouldn’t ever want to accuse them all of being “knuckle dragging blue-balled Neanderthals” as you so eloquently put it, but trust me, it definitely happens.

Vix Vix 5:00 pm 12 Dec 10

They are quite alarming figures if they are true. There is one category that I disbelieve though –

“abused by straight men whose sexual advances were rejected.”.

I don’t think so. Maybe in the most rare circumstance. Any guy can tell when a gal ain’t interested especially when it’s because they only like other gal’s. This makes us straight men seem like knuckle dragging blue-balled neanderthals. Man that category is definately self flattering. It is like some blokes saying (which some do), “I don’t wanna work with no ‘gay’ guy cause they’ll try an crack onto me” – they shouldn’t flatter themselves cause it ain’t gonna happen. It is making gays out to be sex starved uncontrolled deviants – just like that above category does to us straights.

I am a major fan of lesbians in general. If there are any lesbians out there who i could help (preferably 2 or more)please feel free to contact me. 0422033468

need I say more?

ezy10z ezy10z 11:15 am 12 Dec 10

I am a major fan of lesbians in general. If there are any lesbians out there who i could help (preferably 2 or more)please feel free to contact me. 0422033468

Homeless Homeless 9:51 pm 10 Dec 10

Kayellar said :

You will find that A Gender Agenda, one of two Trans and Gender Diverse organisations in the ACT recently recieved a significant amount of funding from ACT Health, far more than the AIDS Council would ever be able to put aside from their budget for Trans based work.

They did? Brilliant! Damned excellent. About time too.

Lesbian101 said :

I went to a quiet little central restaurant/cafe with my partner a few weeks ago and we were turned away and told there was no room for people like us because we are clearly gay! After a ten minute argument my girlfriend and I got Ali baba and sat outside the restaurant eating it and letting people know as they went to walk in that couples weren’t allowed to eat at that establishment… funnily enough, heterosexual couples were accepted! It’s a shame that our communities are so unaccepting.

Wow, that totally sucks. That’s a restaurant I would not want to eat at. Despite my pro Trans post above, I’m not anti Lesbian. I am totally for all humans and think that discrimination of any form is unacceptable. Could you name the restaurant? While I am not Gay, not a Lesbian and not Trans I think that businesses need to learn that not only will people who they discriminate against avoid them, but so will the friends, relatives and business associates of those people who believe that discrimination is unacceptable.

Lesbian101 Lesbian101 7:11 pm 10 Dec 10

I went to a quiet little central restaurant/cafe with my partner a few weeks ago and we were turned away and told there was no room for people like us because we are clearly gay! After a ten minute argument my girlfriend and I got Ali baba and sat outside the restaurant eating it and letting people know as they went to walk in that couples weren’t allowed to eat at that establishment… funnily enough, heterosexual couples were accepted! It’s a shame that our communities are so unaccepting.

basketcase basketcase 4:34 pm 10 Dec 10

Great first world problem, maybe suitable for the academics expanded human rights push. Wonder what they could screw out the government for this, a couple of million.

Kayellar Kayellar 3:39 pm 10 Dec 10

You will find that A Gender Agenda, one of two Trans and Gender Diverse organisations in the ACT recently recieved a significant amount of funding from ACT Health, far more than the AIDS Council would ever be able to put aside from their budget for Trans based work.

In the ACT there is no funding for Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual people’s health specifically. Gay men appear to get so much funding only because it comes from the Federal pool of money for HIV, which in Australia, Gay and bisexual (and other men that have sex with men) continue to make up nearly three quarters of people with HIV.

Homeless Homeless 3:18 pm 10 Dec 10

Hugh Lews said :

Did you just say Intersex?

No, no I didn’t. I wrote Intersex. Why do you ask? Have you never heard of Intersex people? If so, please let me know what rock you have been living under. I have trouble sleeping at night and need a quiet place where the outside world can’t affect me. No, seriously if you know of such a rock, please do let me know because it can get noisy out here in society.

p1 said :

Ahhh, so it is funding that makes a community? Now I get it. I think that there is a fair bit of over simplification going on in the media when they refer “communities” generally. Eg, there is a “christian” community in Canberra, but it is actually many separate smaller associations of people, with varying connection and engagement. I believe that the Lesbian community is similar.

Although, that does sound like the lesbian subset of the gay community is getting the rough end of the pineapple when it comes to funding.

I agree with you there p1, it is not funding that makes a community. It is often a common interest that makes a community, or indeed, a common geographical location. In my opinion, Tharwa is a community. Hall is a community. Oaks Estate is a loose conglomeration of people who might call themselves a community. But well, I doubt there is a “Gay community” in Canberra, more a Gay lifestyle, or Gay groups. It’s not like members of this so called Gay community hold community meetings. Similarly, I doubt there is a Lesbian community in the sense that it is suggested in the media. I think rather there are Gay people, Lesbian people, Bi people and so on with varying degrees of interaction with other Gays, lesbians or Bi people.

It is not like everyone has to be community minded. I mean like in every “community” there will be people who are really interacting with the community, and people who don’t give a rats, do their own thing and keep to themselves.

Yes, community is an overused word. And yes, the Gay “community” for want of a better word, do get funding from various government bodies, where as Lesbian, Trans and Intersex “communaties” get considerable less funding.

In fact, considering the amount of Transphobia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transphobia), the number of assaults and murders of Trans people I am amazed that the government provides them with so LITTLE funding.
(http://queenslandpride.gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/queensland-rife-with-homophobia-transphobia-003226.html) from which I quote:

“Disturbingly, trans people suffered significantly higher levels of abuse and violence than gays and lesbians. For instance 76 per cent of males and 69 per cent of females suffered verbal abuse, compared to 92 per cent of male-to-female transgender people.

46 per cent transgender-male-to female and 45 per cent transgender female-to-male were assaulted (without a weapon being involved) compared to 32 per cent of males and 15 per cent of females.

More male-to-female transgender people were attacked with a weapon than males, females and female-to-male transgender combined (38 percent compared to 12, 6 and 9 per cent respectively).”

Considering cases like Gwen Araujo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Gwen_Araujo) and Brandon Tina (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Teena)

So yeah, I think the Canberra Lesbians have a bit of hide complaining about being ignored, they have it made compared to Trans and Intersex people.

trix trix 2:54 pm 10 Dec 10

@matt, if you’re not a female, you have no frigging idea re random men abusing women for not deigning to be interested in them in any way. I think the vast majority of women over 18 would have had some guy call them a “bitch” or otherwise abusing them for not wanting to have a “friendly conversation”, shag them or wanting have anything to do with some drunken (or not) troll trying to pick them up.

I look pretty damn butch, and even I’ve had it. I think there would be insignificant numbers of women who haven’t had hassle, whether in a personal context or on the street.

trix trix 2:47 pm 10 Dec 10

Yes, the survey was published online, which is where I filled it in. I’ve never been to Cube in my life.

And if you don’t know what “lesbian community” means – admittedly, it’s an elastic term – and you’re not a member (marginal or not), STFU with your ignorant guesses. If you’re going to say it’s a subset of the gay community, you might as well say the Vietnamese community is a subset of the “Asian” community. Obviously they’re related; they’re not the same. I do agree the AIDS council is run by individuals who could not give a shit if you’re not a white gay man.

The survey was not just targetted at lesbians, it was also for bi or women who have sex with other women.

And to give it actual context, the most interesting finding was not that we get shit for being queer (and if you dispute that go google for “privilege-denying dude”. No, it was the NUMBER of les/bi/queer-identified women who have sex with men, and the relative lack of safe-sex awareness in that context. A lot of lesbians assume that their risk is low because they have sex with other women – while it is lowER, we are far from immune, especially given the numbers of women who have sex with other women and also have sex with men, often with no condoms. Very interesting and most definitely under-reported.

Kayellar Kayellar 1:34 pm 10 Dec 10

The survey was conducted by the AIDS Action Council of the ACT. The full report can be seen at http://lesbianhealth.org.au/. The Council recieved funding from Cube Nightclub to help make this possible as the Council is not a funded LGBT health service – contrary to popular belief.

Hugh Lews Hugh Lews 12:03 pm 10 Dec 10

Did you just say Intersex?

p1 p1 11:56 am 10 Dec 10

Yes folks, there *is* a Lesbian community in Canberra, just as there is also a Trans and Intersex community http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NewCTN/ but they are all being marginalised by the dominant Gay community who monoplise any government funding at the constant detriment of the other communaties.

Ahhh, so it is funding that makes a community? Now I get it. I think that there is a fair bit of over simplification going on in the media when they refer “communities” generally. Eg, there is a “christian” community in Canberra, but it is actually many separate smaller associations of people, with varying connection and engagement. I believe that the Lesbian community is similar.

Although, that does sound like the lesbian subset of the gay community is getting the rough end of the pineapple when it comes to funding.

Homeless Homeless 10:41 am 10 Dec 10

Wow, “75 per cent said they did not feel strongly connected to the territory’s Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender community”. What community? Oh, you mean the predominatly Gay community who hang out at Cube and The Hush lounge? You mean the predominatly Gay community who grab all the aids action council’s funding and ignore most of the Lesbian community, pay lip service to the Trans community, and deny the existance of any Intersex community?

Yes folks, there *is* a Lesbian community in Canberra, just as there is also a Trans and Intersex community http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NewCTN/ but they are all being marginalised by the dominant Gay community who monoplise any government funding at the constant detriment of the other communaties.

barbiekini barbiekini 10:39 am 10 Dec 10

I think I read somewhere that the survey was conducted at Cube nightclub… how can this be representative of the lesbian community as a whole?

p1 p1 10:27 am 10 Dec 10

That has to be one of the most useless articles I have ever read. Some points:

The stats, while a little alarming sounding, are not contrasted against the whole of the community, or any other subset. 38 per cent might be terrible, or it might be better then gay men, muslims, the disabled or lycra wearing cyclists.

The second quoted paragraph is worse. Of the lesbians I know (well, the people who I know the sexual preference of), they all seem to have a mix of friends both gay and straight. While they seem to have more gay friends then straight ones, it is hardly exclusive. All of them are, however, people who I would consider connected to the community as a whole. Is it possible the survey has missed the point, and that their isn’t a “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community,” but rather just a community?

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