The big trip out
Comparing the differences between the Australian and American scene.
Hello strangers! It has been a long time! For anyone that didn’t know I have actually been in the amazing United States of America for the past four and a half weeks.
My vacation consisted of chilling out in the sun, doing all the general touristy stuff, going to all of the theme parks possible (massive adrenaline junkie) and of course, checking out the lesbian scene to see how it differs to the Australian one.
Little did I know I had embarked on my journey just in time for pride week. For any of my non-American subscribers, pride week is just like a week-long Mardi Gras. It’s a big party for everyone to celebrate their sexuality and the atmosphere it creates was unlike anything I have ever experienced. Attending any of these events literally makes you well up with, well, pride.
My girlfriend and I went to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida, and at this point did not know aboutpPride week so to our surprise. A good 70% of the park were wearing red. We were a little confused that we didn’t get the memo about “Red Day”, then were thrilled to learn that all of these people in red were part of the 2012 Gay Days, endorsed by Disney, which I am now passionate about implementing in Australia!
Each day of the week a different park, within Disneyworld is featured as the Gay Day event. This then made total sense as to why they were all wearing rainbow pins!
Everyone was there! Bears, twinks, butches and femmes, who were wearing these amazing shirts with slogans like, “Born Gay” and “Converted.” A cute lesbian couple sported one each. We were in our element and loving it.
We didn’t have any red t-shirts, so we got on those rainbow pins like no tomorrow and joined the invasion of the gays on Disneyworld!
We were invited to a lesbian night whilst in Disneyworld as an extension of Gay Days. It was at the house of blues with the main entertainment being Leisha Hailey’s band (Alice from the L Word) “Uh Huh Her.”
There were around 500 women at this event and what surprised me was the vast age range. You had your freshly turned 21 year olds, but you also had everyone in between, up to and including women in their 50′s. This was quite an eye opener for me, considering the lesbian night clubs in Sydney are predominately flooded with 18-29 year olds. But not in Orlando. Everyone was mingling, age wasn’t a factor. We had girls coming up to us purely for a chat or a photo together, which is a far cry from the clique-y, cookie-cutter scene you will find on Oxford St. You know if a girl talks to you or wants a photo, the next thing she is gonna ask is, “My place or yours?” (Or the bathroom cubicle.)
It was so refreshing to experience one of these nights where the main aim wasn’t to solely keep to your own clique and ignore anyone who doesn’t fit or solely to pick up. Introducing yourself to anyone who would listen seemed to be the way to go in Orlando. It captured the old saying, “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.”
New York was our next stop, where I had planned to meet with the lovely Jillian, Associate Editor of Avalon Media who produce both LOTL and Curve magazines. Jillian took us to a little bar called Cubby Hole. As soon as I heard the name it sounded predatory, but it was actually very tame. It was literally just somewhere to have a drink with your mates. You can see all four sides of the wall from wherever you’re standing, it wasn’t much larger than say, an average persons lounge room. But it was cute and close-knit.
Surprisingly I did notice quite a few straight men, which was a bit of a shock, but it kind of made the Cubby Hole seem even more accepting of anyone who just wants to have a drink. We did have the issue of one married man trying his luck, but putting aside the fact that he knew he was at a lesbian night and still wanted to have a good old crack at it, it was all very cruisy and low-key which is nice to experience for comparison.
All in all, I can’t judge an entire scene based on the experiences of two states or cities, but for the purpose of this article the main difference between the USA and the AUS scene is as follows:
In the US it seems like these lesbian nights are like a pre-school school playground at lunch time. There is a nice almost naivety about it. Ego and fitting in aren’t a factor, and everyone is seen as a potential friend no matter how different in age, appearance or beliefs. If you’re in the market for a crowd where you can float in the scene, and make new friends every night, USA is the place to be.
In Sydney, you’ve got your cliques and you stick with them. If one person doesn’t like someone it generally has a domino effect on the entire group. I’ve seen it happen, I’ve had it happen and being the “right” kind of lesbian is imperative if you want to fit in here. But…the girls you find down under are of a calibre that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Not to mention the dry wit and sarcasm that only an Aussie truly knows how to understand and deliver, goes unmatched…so call me biased, but Aussie girls will always have my heart, and America, my returned friendship.