Gay’s the Word Lesbian and Gay Bookshop
Lesbian Discussion Group
We meet every Wednesday from 8:00 to 9:00pm.
During the next few days, I frantically went through all my notes on Butler, Spivak and bell hooks, trying to make sure that I was ready for my first meeting with the discussion group on the coming Wednesday. I reviewed the articles I had read on the three waves of feminism, performativity, heteronormativity, etc. Little did I know, however, that all of this research was completely unnecessary!
The discussion started with simple introductions and then simpler questions. Members started talking about the challenges they faced as lesbians, personal stories of coming out and the stigma that surrounded them. I really did not need theories or scholarly approaches to be a member of this group. I could simply pour my heart out and be listened to non-judgmentally. I could be out here. I could talk without fear of rejection or humiliation. As a half-Catholic half-Muslim lesbian who had lived all her life closeted, I came out in this group. I felt comfortable sharing things I never dared to share with anyone at home. I started to vent my feelings and receive the sincere care and support of the group. I found two of my very best friends in the group whose gentle kindness and genuine care warms my heart every time I think of them. I met wonderful women from all walks of life from whom I learned, with whom I happily conversed and without whom I would have missed out on a lot of things that have changed my life. My deep fondness, respect and gratitude goes to the bookshop and the discussion group, because of whom life in London became spectacular.