The Lesbian Discussion Group first started in September 1980. It has always been hosted at Gay’s The Word Book shop. It is pretty impressive that a weekly event has survived over 35 years. The venue hasn’t closed, the group hasn’t ended. Truly they must be doing something right!
About the LDG
The Lesbian Discussion Group at Gay's The Word is a great place for all women who enjoy debating or listening to discussions about current affairs, sexuality, politics, lifestyle and Lesbian-specific topics. Joining a group of strangers can initially be a scary thing, which is why it should be pointed out that it is never compulsory for everybody to speak or contribute. However the group does of course, welcome and encourage active participation.
The group itself is run by a couple of experienced facilitators, who also voluntarily organise special fundraisers and group socials. Past events have included park picnics, improvised sport matches, club outings and speed dating evenings. It is their aim to foster and nurture the idea of a Lesbian Community within the city, which is why they are always happy to welcome and integrate people who are new to the group.
27 January discussion
Each week there is a set topic; all topics are set in advance and decided on by those who participate in the group. The week that I went was a discussion around Societal Rebellion – do we need to be more rebellious?
Well I don’t think I’m that rebellious; or I didn’t... after an hour with this group I realised that perhaps I do have a rebellious side hidden away itching to come out as I was able to suggest some quite rebellious ideas to the group!
What was amazing for me, was the structure of the event. It started with an informal hello around the group where everyone introduced themselves. So you got to know (and probably forget) everyone’s names. The group was about 20 people, despite the cold and wet weather outside.
The topic was announced, a quick introduction given and then the group was encouraged to spend 5 minutes discussing it in pairs. The room was mixed up so that people weren’t with their usual friends. This is a really good idea for slightly shy or nervous people – the idea of going straight into a mass group discussion would silence most women!
The diversity of the women in attendance was clear. In terms of age, socioeconomic and also interests. This made for a quite interesting discussion as various points were put across. Nothing was judged, nothing was made to feel bad or wrong. Everyone’s discussions were taken on board and acknowledged.
After the event, a number of the group went along to New Bloomsbury Set for drinks afterwards.