It's International Women's Day. In some countries this is a national holiday. Why not here?
There's loads going on and head to the South Bank for many a happening as part of their Women Of The World festival. Full event listings can be found here
Androgynous Mind is taking place at the new and stylish Ace Hotel in Shoreditch promising a blend of girl music that isn't girly.
Lesbian Prom is a huge, one-off event taking place at the Scala in London’s King’s Cross on Saturday 15 March 2014. This gorgeous venue, which can easily pack in up to 2,000 clubbers, will play host to live performances from Charli XCX and Red’N’Pink in the main room, while spinning the tunes will be the TLC DJs, Izzy Trizz (Ruby Tuesdays), Sandra D (MissFit) and Girls On Top (from Brighton).
The Attic Room will be taken over by MissFit, and will feature a DJ set from Lauren Mayberry (Chvrches - pictured below), alongside Von Petrovosky (Twat Boutique, MissFit) and CeCe Estrada (Chick Habit) – all spinning electro and indie.
The annual cinematic extravaganza that is the BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival will be taking place from Thursday 20 March to Sunday 30 March 2014 – and this time it boasts a new name! Details about this year’s event – now called BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival – were announced at a press launch at the BFI this evening (19 February).
“You spoke, we listened, and together we have embarked on a new identity for the Festival,” said a BFI spokesperson, commenting on the change of name. “Change can be exciting, but also uncomfortable, especially when it’s something we hold dear, but we feel passionately that our new name is more inclusive, reflective of the ever growing diversity of our line-up, and welcoming to all of the audiences who come to our Festival.”
Fans of the original Riot Grrrl ring leader will be pleased to hear that the film about Hanna’s musical and personal life has been finished and is to be released in the UK. Director Sini Anderson covers the feminist through her music but also her intense personal struggles that have largely been fought privately, until now.
We are still so puzzled why the Government still haven’t got their act together and made Gay sex education compulsory in schools. Prides this year have been going all out to teach about safe sex.
As queer folk ourselves we know the bafflement that is figuring out contraception. With boys it’s a condom or nothing, it takes away a lot of the pleasure factor and adds those eight seconds of awkwardness where you’re not sure where to look. With girls it’s a stretched piece of plastic or something that looks like sandwich bag. And we’re just not taught enough about them.
Following the abolishment of section 28, there have been talks about including LGBT people when teaching students in the UK about safe sex. The old amendment stated that a local authority should not promote homosexuality and was finally repealed in 2003. There is a need for gay sex education and I’m all for it. I mean at fourteen I could of got 100% in a test entitled ‘name the parts of the penis,’ yet I had no idea when at seventeen I became sexually active with women. I didn’t have a clue on how to protect myself nor that I actually needed to.
There have been a lot of people arguing against it because of costs. Thrown around a lot was ‘You can’t get pregnant from gay sex so why bother teaching it.’ One, No really? I’ve been sleeping with girls over a year now trying to impregnate myself. Two, the STI factor is probably what I’d start with in that argument. Gay teenagers should know that practicing safe sex still applies to them. And three, if it’s pregnancy that these sex talks are trying to prevent then they failed with about ninety-six girls in my year.
In class we were taught how to put a condom on a banana. A femidom, I would have had no clue. And even my spellchecker now is telling me it’s a word that doesn’t exist. If you’d asked me what it was used for, I would have either said some sort of organic musical instrument or a device for straining carrots and peas.
Gavin Boyd, education equality officer for the Rainbow Project, is devoted to getting LGBT sex education to be taught. Many young gay and bisexual men have the highest incidence of HIV in the population. ‘People tend not to die from Aids anymore, so it's seen as a manageable condition,’ he tells the Guardian in a recent interview. ‘If young people don't have the chance to openly discuss the implications of risky behaviours, they can't make informed decisions about their sexual choices.’
Sex education should be for everyone. Yes it will probably be embarrassing and a bit weird to bring it all up but that’s just school life, a whole seven years of being weird and embarrassing. There needs to be something put in place, and soon, so that teenagers, when they sleep with their bosses, are fully informed on how to keep themselves protected and safe. www.femmeface.com