J and I went to see Leisha Hailey's (formerly The Murmurs and Gush and yes, Alice from The L Word) new band, Uh Huh Her, last night at a place called the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown, Minneapolis. It was pretty cool to see a live show again. We actually haven't been to one in quite a long time, which is quite strange for me. It was just nice being in a hip crowd of people, listening to trendy, indie music. There is so little of any of that here in SC. It also didn't hurt that the majority of the crowd appeared to be queer.
And here is where my moment of disorientation comes in. The Varsity Theater is an ambiance-filled place to see a show. It has lots of leather and velvet furniture lining its perimeter; the ceiling is complete with disco balls, holiday lights, and chandeliers; and there are two bars with a decent (and fairly reasonably-priced) selection of beverages. It was actually more like someone's living room, than a rock club. Now add to this the fact that almost the entire audience actually looked like the cast of The L Word. I'm not exaggerating, here. When we first walked in, I was speechless because I actually thought I had somehow been transported into the show's Planet or SheBar. It was incredibly surreal.
So, here lies the irony as I finish my dissertation: A significant number of the viewers I discuss talk about how no one looks like the women on the show and that "real" lesbian life is not like that. But apparently, when that "real" lesbian community wasn't looking, it suddenly did begin to look like that show and those women. Generally, the women at this gig were younger - probably coming to their identity through The L Word, and this type of image-construction is not unprecedented, by any means, within queer culture. (Women in the 50s modeled themselves after Radclyffe Hall and the 90s brought the Riot Grrrl/Alterna-chick image.)
But, it's still a bit strange for me and this project. It doesn't contradict my conclusions or anything, just adds a new element that I'll have to address at some point.
Perhaps we all want to live in The L Word so bad, that we now do. I guess there are worse places...at least it should be an absurdly fun ride!