Gina de Vries

Remember Lesbian Chic?

Filed By Gina de Vries | November 03, 2007 5:02 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: islanda, lesbian chic, lesbionic, lesbionica, roly

My phone rings.

My friend Elana, who works as a sex educator for fifth graders in Boston: Gina, Gina, I have to talk to you! I was just going through the file cabinet at my office, and—Okay, do you remember how there was that Allison Bechdel comic about that period in the 90’s where lesbianism was really cool for five minutes?
Gina: Dude, I totally remember Lesbian Chic, and not just from Dykes to Watch Out For!

Elana: (Trying and failing to contain her laughter.) Okay, okay, good. So, we have this file folder that’s from the 90’s and it’s all about lesbians, and it’s really dated. It has all these articles and random clips from magazines, like there’s this issue of Newsweek with these two really, really white middle-class yuppie women on it—
Gina: And all the cover says is “LESBIANS!” Oh my god, I so remember that!
Elana: Yes! And there’s this photo spread from Vanity Fair of k.d. lang in a barber’s chair getting shaved by Sharon Stone—
Gina: Getting shaved by Cindy Crawford!
Elana: Cindy Crawford, yes!
Gina: I remember that photo!
Elana: It’s really EROTIC! I had no idea it was so sexual! And I do sex ed for fourth graders, so like, why in the name of God would I use that photo for my “It’s Okay to Be Gay” class?
Gina: (Laughing really, really hard.) I don’t know, Elana, why would you?
Elana: So I just talked to my boss about how none of this is really age-appropriate for my work. And therefore, I should be the one to take it home.
Elana: I’m going to frame the “LESBIANS” cover and the k.d. lang picture and put them on my wall at home next to each other. I think they’d look good in the bathroom…
Gina: Right, Preserving Our History and all!... God, I so remember Lesbian Chic… I came out like right at the tail end of Lesbian Chic—it was like ’94, and I totally devoured all that stuff because I was newly out and over-doing it and obsessed with everything gay…
Elana: Well, Gina, Lesbian Chic must be why people didn’t believe you were a homo, they just thought you were jumping on the bandwagon!
Gina: Yep, jumping on the Lesbian Chic bandwagon*!

*At the age of 11. When I’d never met any real-live out queer people.

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I used to love Dykes to Watch Out For and I'm a boy!

And the Vanity Fair piece. OMG!

And sex education in the fifth grade: I hope they're not still showing those cheesy films!

God, I feel so suddenly nostalgic!

I remember lesbian chic as well... gawsh I really date myself here.

I wonder why it didn't stick around. I still think lesbians are way cool!

I LOVE that cartoon! I remember when the only "lesbian" magazine was the "Lesbian Connection" newsletter. I always turned right to the "Dykes to Watch Out For" comics pages first!

Cue the song from Cats...

Damn, this takes me back!


I think Lesbian Chic didn't stick around because Bisexual Chic (OMG! Bisexuals in Newsweek and on Donahue!) quickly came on the heels of Lesbian Chic, followed by Fags Who Talk About Everything But Fag Sex Chic (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, etc), followed by Fags Enabling Metrosexuals Chic (more Queer Eye, more stuff like Queer Eye)... And then mainstream culture pretty much got sick of queers, and then "Politically Correct" Backlash Chic once again began to reign (South Park, Howard Stern, etc).

I might be oversimplifying, but I thnk that's the basic timeline of things. Sucks, but at least my friend has some entertaining stuff to put on her bathroom wall now.



Dykes to Watch Out For is still going strong! See here:

Also, Elana does not use the bad movies for her sex ed classes -- I wish I could be so confident about other sex educators!