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thoughtful, moving and a crucial history lesson

Where Have All the Lesbians Gone? Not maybe a query you’ve been asking your self, however a Channel 4 documentary. Given the broadcaster’s liking for controversy, I feared this could be a brand new salvo within the transgender wars, particularly when it opened by asking: “Is the word ‘lesbian’ toxic?” “Are lesbians being erased?”

But it turned out to be a shifting and celebratory movie, directed by Brigid McFall, slightly little bit of social historical past
informed through a bunch of girls being interviewed about their experiences. They ranged in age from cool younger issues to a great-grandmother who had grown up in a really totally different world. “You were married and had children or you were a spinster,” she mentioned of her youth in working-class Newcastle. Only later did she depart her husband and uncover what was on the market.

She referred to herself as a lesbian, as did others. Some of the youthful ladies most well-liked “queer”, as a result of they regarded the L-word as having unfavourable connotations – a few of them terrible (the phrase “lesbian” being hurled as abuse) and a few comedian (lesbians being related to humourlessness, hummus and bushy armpits).

Eventually the programme bought on to the trans debate however – reward be! – there was no invective. Just thought of opinions. One lady, who had discovered to field in her youthful years as safety towards homophobic assaults, raised a degree which shouldn’t be ignored. “What I would like to say to my trans siblings,” she mentioned, was that “some of those women who may be ‘terfs’ have probably been as traumatised as I have. They might have had kids taken off them in the 1980s. So, trans folk, be a little kinder, please.”

The saddest story was from a lady who had grown up in a Christian household. When her mother and father found that she was homosexual, they threw her out. She was doing her A-levels, needed to stay in a hostel and spent Christmas Day alone. She nonetheless yearns for a hug from her mum, however her mother and father need nothing to do along with her. What shameful behaviour.

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