Thursday, 14 October 2010

Coming Out in the UK 2010

I feel so lucky to have begun my coming out journey in 2010. Although there are clearly still issues surrounding the acceptance of the LGBT community I am truly proud of the visibility being given to us in the UK at this time-this can only help us in the future.

This year alone there has been an overwhelming presence of lesbian and gay characters on television alongside high profile coming out stories. When I first began feeling comfortable with my sexuality I discovered Ellen's sitcom (thanks to the wonder that is Youtube-I can't find any DVDs for UK DVD players, if you can help me with that please comment!) which was the first time I truly had an 'aha I do belong' moment as I saw someone portraying the very emotions I was feeling on screen. There has been quite a dry spell of current LGBT relevant dramas, in my opinion, until recently.

 It turns out this is like waiting for a bus though-in the past few years Skins generation 2 has given us Naomily-the touching story of two sixth form girls discovering and coming to terms with their sexuality (I suggest you take a look at afterellen.com's recaps of their story if you, like me, were obviously living under a rock when it was actually airing). If in the UK it can also be seen on 4oD for free. Although I can relate to their feelings Skins, I think it's fair to say, isn't representative of the average sixth formers life-containing heavy drug use and covering some dark material it isn't one for the fainthearted. At this point Coronation Street came to my rescue.

After years (and believe me, I mean from when I was in the womb) I have complained of people's love for this soap-I prefer watching television to be a lighthearted affair and Coronation Street has had quite a few dark and dismal storylines. When a longstanding character in the show (Sophie Webster) began having feelings for herschool friend Sian I was hooked instantly, along with a million other girls and women who could watch this soap legitimately (unlike some of the more wild lesbian storylines, tucked away at some insane hour of the night) in their front rooms, complete with family. Even then I found it difficult to contain my sudden excitement at this show. Their story is very easy to relate too, even though I've never been in love with my best friend-some people have criticised its lack of drama and passion compared to Skins however, its scheduling and the fact that these two characters are younger than Naomily mean the writers have to take a more subtle approach. I love the love portrayed between Siophie though and feel it mirrors what I'm likely to feel like when falling in love. It's set to be long term too so love it while it's here! My Siophie fanvid can be found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA9pRTB2iKQ

Anne Lister was a period drama with a difference-the story of a woman living in a time when lesbians weren't recognised who just wanted to spend her life with 'the fairer sex'. I found this and the accompanying documentary of her life, presented by the wonderful Sue Perkins, to be very eye opening and still relevant today of the very basics of lesbian love.

Now Lipservice has started here in the UK and I'll try and review it when I've seen it (I've only managed to watch half of it up to now). In the meantime there are some good reviews on Niche Girls and afterellen.com.

As for real life celebrity coming outs sadly, here in the UK, we are lacking lesbians-especially young lesbians coming out. We have however had the rather high profile coming out of X Factor 2009 winner Joe McElderry (to whom I owe my own coming out-it was so wonderful to have a role model my age who had gone through the same emotions as myself) and recently Kieron Richardson (Hollyoaks actor but I know him from Dancing on Ice). The more high profile celebrities that can come out the better it is for the LGBT community-it leads to a sense of belonging and normality for those struggling to come to terms with themselves and that is a very good thing.

1 comment:

  1. I just happened to stumble across this blog, but what you said about Coronation Street really made me laugh, because I was exactly the same! I used to wonder why people wasted their time watching soaps about fake people, but since Sophie and Sian's storyline emerged I don't want to miss it! : ) And I agree, it would make such a massive difference if more high-profile celebs came out.

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