About a month ago I wrote about my eye-opening night out with the older lesbians from the Ten Forty Matrix. I mentioned that we talked about a bunch of issues affecting senior dykes — from LGBT aged-care to coming out to your grandkids.
There’s plenty more I wanted to report on. Here are a few more highlights.
Early in the evening one of the ladies asked, “Do older women have sex?” I wasn’t sure why she asked me — shouldn’t she be spilling those beans? The eruption of chuckles made me realise the question was rhetorical and for their amusement. I’m still waiting for the dirty details.
One dyke said she was sick of hearing about blokes on the news and wanted more coverage of women. This turned into a conversation about the general lack of chicks on TV — but I did learn their favourite female personalities are Annabel Crabb, Penny Wong (Parliamentary Question Time anyone?) and, of course, the most excellent Hannah Gadsby.
One lady suggested there should be a lesbian report on the news each night, right before the weather. I asked if she meant a lesbian should do the sport, but nope, she wanted a few minutes coverage of lesbian issues broadcast right around the country. I imagined everything from Kerryn Phelps standing up for equal rights to a cute report on Ruby Rose’s dog. Goddamit — give us the full half-hour!
On a more serious note, the women spoke about how Rudd’s 2008 law reforms, which removed discrimination against same-sex couples, have affected them — and surprisingly it wasn’t all good. Gay couples now copped Centrelink investigations into their relationship status and lost pension income if they were found to be de factos.
While this is exactly what straight couples deal with, the problem was that there was no ‘grandfather’ clause phasing it in over a number of years, allowing gays near retirement age time to prepare for the new reality. Many of the ladies had been financially independent up until this point and had a hard time dealing with the changes.
Finally, the women felt that gay papers, including this one, don’t cover enough lesbian issues — let alone issues that affect older dykes. I promised I’d do what I could to make sure older voices were heard and encouraged them to get involved in the queer media.
Don’t know about you — but I reckon these older dykes are pretty newsworthy.