This morning Time Out London announced they are losing their dedicated LGBT listings and content section in both the print and online versions of their magazine. LGBT listings will be incorporated into other sections, but editor Paul Burston will no longer be the force behind the listings, reviews and our presence & visibility in the magazine. (Source: Guardian online).
We know from the first Planet London social community survey that at least in 2012, Time Out London was one of the key sources of listings information for the 700+ lesbians in London that responded to the survey, with our 50% of us using the site.
We know from feedback from that survey and over the last couple of years running Planet London how important accessible, easy to use, and accurate listings are. They help keep the scene alive, keep people going to events. Promoting an event just using a Facebook Event is not going to help promoters and event organisers reach the approximately 200,000 lesbians in London.
LGBT people are up to 10% of London's population and as we all know, many are active socialisers. Why not invest in this community? Having visibility alongside mainstream events helps make it possible to know all that's going on out there. if we are having to delve deep into mainstream listings, it's going to make it extra hard to find out what's on and less confident that events are LGBT specific (if that's what we desire to attend - I get that LGBT only events aren't for everyone).
Over the last three years, we've seen an increase in events, event organisers, DJs and non-club nights aimed at lesbians - and much better and more interesting representation on film and at the theatre. There's been the creation of 2 new LGBT film festivals (Fringe! and Wotever Film Festival) and 2013 has seen an influx of Lesbian themed theatre. These activities need channels to communicate their existence to audiences.
However we have also seen the decline of lesbian spaces - the closure of the Glass Bar, First Out, Candy Bar... we still need to work for our visibility within the LGBT scene and beyond.
It feels like exactly the right time to be launching the 2nd Planet London Social Community survey. (Live 1 January - 28 February 2014.) We want to build an even bigger picture of what women want so that we can influence the event organisers, promoters, venue owners, creatives and businesses to meet your needs. What events and services do you want? How do you want them?
Please use the comments section below to start the conversation and to be alerted when the survey goes live you can follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. As well as great prizes on offer in the prize draw, it's YOUR chance to tell us and those organising events and services what matters to you. The survey is broken into categories so you only need to answer what's of interest to YOU.