For most of my life I have been Depressed and for some of that I’ve also suffered with Anxiety. That has I think been responsible for my pervading sense of isolation, I complained earlier this year that my main LARP character, Liissá wasn’t especially fun to play because she is essentially a very lonely person. As with all LARP characters that’s just an aspect of myself turned up to eleven.
My first real exposure to any sort of Queer Community was at university, UniQ, the somewhat problematic university Queer society. There was me and Harry Potter, two eighteen year old girls having a first attempt at exploring their Queerness and a boatload of gay boys fully embracing their bitchy Queen nature and frankly feeding off of each other. I loved all of them, Uncle Dave and Robin and Andy especially. We did bar crawls and trips to Canal Street and went clubbing in tacky outfits and got thrown out of straight pubs for being too obviously queer.
It was a community, albeit with the usual problem for queer girls of my generation (and likely others), that of everything being prominently for the gay boys. Just more misogyny for me to live with. But then my early twenties in Japan and the Saitama Women’s Centre and the DykeNetwork. I’ve always felt very fondly about reclaiming the term ‘dyke’ and at least some of that is down to the DykeNetwork. I had some of my best times in the Saitama women’s centre talking and hanging out with other queer girls and just really having a good time being myself.
The Queer Community have been an important part of giving me touchstones to feel good within my skin and to have community supports.