Recently it was questioned as to where exactly are all the young femme lesbians? In her article for The Telegraph, Rhiannon Williams brought to mainstream the plight of lesbian visibility, in that we are coming out in an era of lesophobia. We appreciate that as a straight woman she is trying to highlight the troubles that lesbians, in particular those young and femme, go through in not being recognized for who we are. The lack of lesbian role models has always astounded me, especially when compared to the amount of famous gay men that one can easily count on both hands. If I ask my straight female friends to think of a famous femme lesbian, or any lesbian, they are quite simply stumped. It is true that in the straight and gay world, lesbians are somewhat the minority in numbers, and even more so if you are looking at those who are femme. We don't stand out; we're wearing lipstick, mascara and Chanel perfume whilst holding our wife's hand. Are we viewed as sisters, best friends... distant cousins? There is a great lack of recognition from the gay community, and great disbelief from the straight community. We suffer from femme invisibility and because of our feminine appearance, we are assumed to be straight.
There has, however, recently been an influx in the visibility of feminine lesbians. This isn't driven by famous women deciding to come out; this is coming from everyday lesbians living their lives loud and proud. What surprised me from Rhiannon William's article is how she quite simply missed where all the young femme lesbians are. We are right here. Just make sure you log onto YouTube. When I started my blog What Wegan Did Next to document my long distance relationship, I also hoped that by sharing our lives we would show other feminine lesbian that it's ok to be gay and still have high heels, oversized handbags and dreams of a walk in closet (except even bigger -- to share your wife's clothes!) We have had the fortune of being able to touch and inspire the lives of some, but there are others out there doing it on a larger scale. Fellow American and British couple Kaelyn and Lucy also document their long distance relationship, and with over 100,000 subscribers on YouTube, their following is going strong. They too show that true love prevails all, and that it is ok to be feminine and gay. Through our online journey we have formed a friendship with these lovely ladies, as well as YouTube Guru Rose Ellen Dix, who has also gained a great following of over 100,000 subscribers from her hilarious personality. More than this, she has brought her beautiful girlfriend Rosie into her videos and they are also sharing their lives as a femme lesbian couple. The list is quite endless, with talented singing lesbian duo Bria and Chrissy, long distance lovers Cydney and Stacy and ford fiesta agents Daylnn and Angelica, to name but a few. No one has to make a big announcement to the world, we are simply living authentically and in doing so the profile of femme visibility is raised. Young girls can now see many other femme lesbians who have gone through the struggle of coming out and survived it. There is a happy ever after all, with your beautiful wife, white picket fence and all.
We still have a long way to go. As more and more everyday lesbians take a stand to be open and proud, I hope that women who are truly in the limelight and still trapped in the closet start to realise that they too should be living the same way. Growing up, I always longed for a famous feminine lesbian to come along and show me that I could live the life and have the wife that I always dreamed of. As Amelia Abraham rightly questioned in her recent article for The Guardian, where are all the 'celesbians'? We have had some celebrities take the plunge to live their lives open and proud, such as Chely Wright, Portia De Rossi and most recently Prisoners actress Mario Bello with her well received New York Times article. However it is sad that in todays age we can only list a mere few of openly out femme lesbians, when the list for famous gay men is endless with British Olympic diver Tom Daley coming out just this week. This is not good enough. I hope that more and more decide to embrace and be true to who they are, and if they're not going to do it -- there are many of us out there who will.
To contribute to the Femme Visibility campaign, either upload your own video or tweet a picture with #femmevisibility or submit your picture to our blog.
To find out more about our long distance journey and life visit our blog What Wegan Did Next.