Outitude – Expanding Lesbian Stories | Pocketmags.com
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Outitude – Expanding Lesbian Stories

We wanted to make a documentary charting the richness of lesbian grass-roots activism, collectives, community, academia and politics from the 1970’s to the present day. We hope we have in some small way captured some of this rich and diverse history.

Photo by Hazel Coonagh

With the film we explored what defines us, what connects us, and what are our commonalities. We conducted numerous interviews and group discussions with members of the LGBT+ community from all walks of life and of all ages throughout the island of Ireland, including journalists Nell McCafferty and Una Mullally. We spoke to rural and urban lesbians, poets, writers, activists, self-professed bar dykes, queer women and curious women. We talked to lesbians involved in many of the organisations past and present that have made our community what it is today such as LOT, LINC, OUTBURST, BeLonG To, Lesbian Line, Running Amach, Deja VuVu and many more. Personal stories tell of the diversities of identities, tales of coming out, experiences of homophobia and the varied types of activisms that offer a glimpse into the richness and diversity of our lesbian community.

The writer June Caldwell described Outitude as “a brilliant kaleidoscope of lesbian herstory in Ireland from way back in the wacky days of horny priest-led conversion therapy, through war in Northern Ireland, into gender-fluid modern day” and as a heartfelt documentary that attempts to get to the core of what it means to be lesbian.

At its premiere at the GAZE LGBT+ Film Festival in 2018, it played to a packed cinema and won the Audience Award. Although predominantly focused on the Irish community, we have found that it is resonating with lesbian audiences around the world as demonstrated by the awards we have won, including an Audience award and a Community Visibility Award from Cinema Systers in Kentucky (the only remaining lesbian film festival in the US).

Screenings to date have attracted strong audiences, with many young women hearing about lesbian history for the first time and one older lesbian saying, “This is the film I’ve waited my whole life to see”.

There is a lot of rich material in the documentary but we also have so much more that could not be included in the film, including over 100 hours of unused footage.

We want to expand the remit of Outitude as a resource for lesbian history. We have begun work on a website where we plan to make all this material available to include each participant’s full interview, a timeline of lesbian activism, and backstories for all of the events referred to in the documentary.

If you would like to support the ‘Outitude’ team, or for more information, visit their Facebook and GoFundMe pages.

The team will also be holding a special screening and fancy dress disco on November 1 in The Teacher’s Club on Parnell Square in Dublin.

This article appears in the 358 Issue of GCN

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This article appears in the 358 Issue of GCN