Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (August 15, 2008)


NEVER LOOK AT THE TROMBONES, IT ONLY ENCOURAGES THEM reader Candleshoe let us know that TV presenter/writer/all-around hilarious lesbian Sue Perkins is starring in the new BBC reality series Maestro.

The program (“programme” if you’re English) pits eight celebrities against each other for a chance to conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra in front of a live audience of thousands at Proms in the Park.

Perkins is most famous for her 17 years as one-half of the comedy team Mel and Sue. And, as Sarah reported just a few weeks ago, she also made The Independent’s 2008 Pink List about the 100 most influential LGBT folks in the U.K.

In her promotional Maestro interview, Perkins said her biggest challenge would be staying serious: “When I get nervous or embarrassed, or feel a bit coy, I ham it up. And I will try and showboat, or be sarcastic, or ironic, or stupid, or incredulous, or willfully ignorant or all of the above.

Ultimately, though, she said she would put her nerves behind her and allow the music to take her over. “If I look a buffoon while I’m transported by a piece of music then so be it, I don’t care.”

A sarcastic, ironic, incredulous, willfully ignorant buffoon wrapped in an English accent? Oh dear, I think I’m in love.

This week Patricia Nell Warren chatted with NPR’s Scott Simon about the re-release of her book The Lavender Locker Room: 3,000 Years of Great Athletes Whose Sexual Orientation Was Different. The first thing Simon asked her was, “Are there still closeted gays in sports?” To which she and I both emphatically responded, “Absolutely.”

As we pointed out last week, the sports world has long been rumored to be a hotbed of lesbian tomfoolery, but in reality it is still a pretty homophobic place. Of the 5,000 female athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics right now, we have only found 13 women who are out publicly. (And believe me, we’ve been looking.)

In The Lavender Locker Room, Warren explores three centuries of homosexual sports history, focusing on women from Joan of Arc to Amelia Earhart to Martina Navratilova, navigating between legend, rumor and solid facts. Earhart kept her private life so hidden that even sustained rumors of her lesbianism are hard to prove. Navratilova, however, came out to much acclaim. Her frankness about being a lesbian didn’t hurt her popularity, and she made a fortune in sponsorship deals.

Warren also takes a look at Babe Didrikson Zaharias, arguably the best female athlete of all time. Zaharias’ phenomenal athletic career, encompassing many different sports, is among Warren’s earliest memories. One book review on The Lavender Locker Room says, “[Warren's] descriptions of seeing Zaharias in news reels and on television broadcasts is both touching and powerful and no doubt reflects the hidden thoughts, dreams, and hungers of an entire generation of lesbians.”

To find out more about The Lavender Locker Room, or to read the first chapter, check out Warren’s publishing company, Wildcat Press.

by Stuntdouble

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