July 11, 2012
Oh hello high society sapphism: Tatler’s inspiring collection of ‘lovely lesbians’
Where are all the Helena Peabody’s? That’s the question that was on the tips of the tongues of Tatler editors, who have compiled a list of some of the loveliest of lesbians here in the UK. Tatler, the high society magazine that’s been running since 1709, is taking a rather exciting new approach in its August edition by showcasing some ladies who love to love ladies and the positive influence this has in a sphere that we don’t usually think about how the role of the LGBT community plays in this more exclusive strand of society.
One of the most attractive characteristics about a lady, for me, is ambition and success. No, not money before you jump to some ridiculous conclusion, but the power, determination, passion and drive to work hard to achieve something you’ve got your heart set on. Yep, that is probably one of the most inspiring and striking qualities I could possibly ever desire in a woman
Tatler’s approach to giving high society ladies a platform is a fantastic step forward to exposing the fabulous women who are running the world, who we may not even know about, and more excitingly, are also part of the LGBT community, to a completely different audience. They’ve raised some highly important issues as well as having fun with the feature. We live in a world where stigma is still attached to the LGBT section of society, although you probably don’t need me to point out the obvious. What we probably don’t realise though, is that this stigma can sometimes be felt greater in the some more ‘privileged’ spheres than we’d first consider.
Tatler’s August issue states “Tatler is out-and-out proud to present seven of London’s smartest and loveliest lesbians. Come on now, there’s no need to be nervous or titillated. Don’t be a cliché. They’re not …” This is a powerful and beautiful message that will no doubt make a difference to a tremendous amount of girls across the nation. For some reason, being an out and proud business owner or lady is something of a rare species, but with publications with a powerful brand such as Tatler flying the flag for these ladies, its evident that society is craving more of them to stand up and be counted for because we’re all looking up to them. The concept of ‘coming out’ has always been a hurdle and will always remain a hurdle as it’s a personal realisation and acceptance of your own sexuality, as well as having to anticipate the reactions of those around you, yet with more focus on the positive and the inspiring, the easier our own personal journey gets.
Traditionally, the term ‘gay’ is associated with men more than women, and if a family friend comes over for a weekend and brings his partner or boyfriend, then there’s more acceptance towards his sexuality rather than if a daughter would toddle off home from a term at boarding school and states that she’s fallen in love with a girl. Gay men are more prevalent and a bigger part of this upper class world than lesbians are, on the whole. They’re running the designer shops, they’re the ‘gay best friend’, and they’re the talented artists and creatives, and have become an important frame of reference
Tatler’s editor, Kate Reardon, took to the airwaves on July 5th and appeared on Radio 4’s ‘Women’s Hour’ to discuss the idea behind the lovely lesbian feature and she hopes that even if the feature only makes a difference to three people, it’s been worth while.
“The one thing Tatler has control over, is stating what’s socially acceptable. I’m acutely aware of our place in the food chain, we don’t claim to have the influence of a national newspaper, most of the time we’re talking about handbags and makeup, but we do have a very specific power and if in this one instance we can do something good, then why not?”
The following evening in Marylebone, on July 6th, Tatler put on a rather splendid knee’s up, and it was given the title ‘The Lesbian Ball’. A whole host of beautiful women attended in celebration of Tatler’s lush lesbian August edition, including the likes of Claire Balding, Sue Perkins, Mary Portas, Jane Hill, Gillian Anderson, Alison Goldfrapp and a plethora of more delightful darlings. Women were invited from all areas of London and beyond to come and drink, socialise, and most importantly, celebrate what makes being a lesbian so special and fabulous. The entire cast were splendidly dressed, eloquent and symbolically demonstrating that it’s not just OK to be out and proud in Tatler’s bubble, but wonderful in every way possible.
It’s a rather altered look on the different elements of layers that have been woven into the rich tapestry of the LGBT society. As a girl of only 23 who’s an editor of one of the UK’s biggest music tastemaking websites, AltSounds.com, a girl who’s already been a director of a company and a co-founder of an ever growing PR company, I am proud to be an ‘out and proud’ member of a rather traditional community in North Wales where ‘coming out’ really isn’t the easiest of things. As ever, I will continue to look up to the Helena Peabody’s of the UK as they gave me a huge amount of strength to face my fears, that were primarily built up in my own head for far too long, when I was dealing with my own personal torment. Even now I find it thrilling and inspiring to learn of other ladies who have shaken off the guises and wear their ambition and sexuality together on the sleeve of their suit jacket because, quite frankly, it’s ridiculously sexy and makes me weak at the knees.
Are women funny?
We were at Funny Women in Brighton attempting to find out if women are as funny as men.
June 13, 2012