Wednesday, May 29, 2013
picture taken by: Limor Ben Romano
This post was taken from a column I wrote for "Mako" (http://goo.gl/vT4wA)
Limor Ben Romano has gotten used to hearing the phrase "But you do not look gay", and once she even took it as a compliment. After exposed to enormous variety lesbian women in the community she realized how limited was her knowledge. She is currently being filmed series "Proud" by Arava Gal, which brings the stories of lesbian women in Israel. In a personal column she explains why she chose to be filmed.
Written by: Limor Ben Romano
Hi, my name is Limor and I love women but hates definitions. People have this habit of trying to give you all kinds of titles such as 'lesbian', 'masculine', 'feminine', 'Tel Avivian left party'. They do so, especially straight people, so they can accommodate you, logically, in their mind.
"So, you have a boyfriend?" He asks. "This is my partner," I say, pointing to my wife, proudly. "What, are you a lesbian?" He's surprised. Then recited them familiar phrases such as "So who's the man and who is the woman?" Or "Can I join?"as if my relationship with a woman is a window of opportunity his filthy porn fantasies, and "wow, you're such a waste, believe me" and of course the 'I think that just have not met the right man "- no, I think you just met the very wrong woman, so Bye now.
"You do not look gay" is something I hear a lot. Sometimes it's surprising to me, in the past it actually complimented me because my difficulty to accept myself into the lesbian community was mainly since associative 'lesbian' was in my mind as well a very masculine woman, with cropped hair and very aggressive. After all, I never saw myself as such, so how great it is that I did not look like one. But the more I met more women in this community, I realized how limited my worldview was and how diverse and inspirational women in our community. I got this discovering opportunity since I got into the community, but most people of our society will not get this opportunity.
picture taken by: Ziv Sade
It does not surprise me when the television constantly reinforces the same stereotype: on one hand, Frida Hecht in 'Big Brother'- until we finally have a "real" lesbian representation it turns out to b stereotypical hardcore -a lesbian truck driver. On the other hand, what does the film industry offering us? A couple of actresses in an American film gettingt a bit drunk and 'making out' in a slumber party or pornography erotic role-playing games by two hot women, mostly straight. If that's the case then why shouldn't we get comments when my wife an I are walking on the street, hugging?
Why shouldn't straight men an women raise their eyebrow when they heard we are together? ("Really you do not look like lesbians"), why a man will not feel comfortable enough to approach us at a bar and interrogate our sexual habits? If you do not teach it, if you do not talk about it in the media, where the hell will people who do not live in this LGBT community can be exposed to women who love women in the most simple, real and normative way, no matter how they look, so you can stop being surprised by their sexual orientation?
When I saw the advertisement on Facebook that calls for women who want to be filmed for the documentary project called "proud" by Arava Gal, the director and creator of this series, I thought it would be an interesting experience. But when I met Arava and started filming what I also realized was the importance of my participation in this series.
I realized that by the fact that my partner and I are filmed to this documentary series of lesbian women that carries the name "Proud" and is intended to be distributed to every single transmission frame that would allow it - we give a peek to others and allow them to get an idea of exactly the same world and the same lesbian characters which do not receive exposure there, in the mass media, in the education system, n the awareness of society.
This is exactly the goal of the "Proud" - through out those short documentary chapters in which the viewers are getting to know Limor, Lilac, Daniella, Hodaya and then more and more names and faces to show the audience an expand collage of lesbian women and to open their minds when it comes to the traditional attitude and the old and despicable determination of who is a 'lesbian' and how should she behave.
I don't t like definitions at all. Forget about titles and formats, open your mind and let's meet women, funny women, strong women, sensitive, in a relationship, alone, in intimate moments or in the middle of a busy street, women who love like everyone else does, who ponders, women with values, beliefs and desires. It may sound simple, but it's so not obvious.
They say that change begins with us. I've never saw myself as an activist who will revolutionize with her own hands and feet (and I'm a little jealous of those who do). But I believe that participating in "Proud" allows me in my way to start a small revolution, even if it's in the views of one person, man or woman, it doesn't matter.
And who knows, maybe the next time a man approaches me in a bar will be because he actually recognize me form chapter 4 and only came to ask for an autograph. Well, not for him, for his girlfriend.
All the episodes of the documentary series “Proud” will be broadcasted in the international LGBT film festival in Tel Aviv, the “TLVFEST” on june 13th, 6 pm during “Mix youtube” in the cinematic theater.
Watch "PROUD WOMEN" here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMTPj_zUfYo