I arrived "home" to Women's Nite, making my way through noisy Little India as the sun set rosily on a glorious day. A small gate was unlatched; a small sign told me I had found the right door. Ten minutes past 7pm. It was my first time.
I found a collection of arms and legs, all belonging to women. Women in all shapes, heights, ages and clothing. Judging from the sporty looking shoes outside, I wasn't surprised to see each in variations of pants. Including myself ;-)
…thinking I'd stay for 2 hours, but leaving only at midnight.
…a buffet of comfort food, some lovingly homemade and beautifully presented.
…being far too nervous to eat =)
…new names and old faces. Hui Yee. Eileena. Sylvia.…being surprised that I had found something so close to a family in that room.
Two days later, I'm still smiling. Not so much at the choice of topic – the ol' butch-femme conundrum – but at the laughter and camaraderie that we shared while trying to make sense of lipstick lesbians and stone butches. It's somewhat addictive. I may just go again. Women's Nite lets us all be heard and heartened!
Labels are restricting and make you conform, and if we label ourselves too much we lose your identity. On the other hand, we sometimes benefit from the choice of labels, when they embrace our identity and sexual orientation.
After attending Women's Nite, I began to understand more about respecting each individual's choice, including that of women who feel that they need to assume a label.
by Wiwik J.
A few months back....
Friend: Wiwik, would you like to come to Women's Nite?
Wiwik: What is that? Where? When? What about?... (I asked so many questions, but I still couldn't make it to any!)
Finally, on 31st March '07:
I was late, coming from Onan Road as I had to collect my contribution for the potluck dinner, and had a hard time finding the venue. I didn't quite know what to expect, so I called my friend when I got near to the building.
Took off my shoes before proceeding up to the second floor. Thank God I had on a fresh pair of socks. Nice ambience. Lots of women. I was a bit flustered as my friend left me to put my potluck contribution at the dinner table. I was searching frantically for familar faces when Hui Yee and the other women greeted me warmly. That helped calm me down.
There were more women in the main hall, all smiling and welcoming. (I guess they could tell I was a first timer.) I'm usually not good with crowds, but I made friends with a number of them in no time. After dinner, the "ice breaker" exercise intoduced us to each other. I was amazed by everyone's spontaneous response; it was so exciting and fun.
The topic for the night was labels like femme, butch and andro. I had wanted to learn about their definitions and the differences between them. I guess I was being naive! There were lots of views and opinions during the discussion. Everyone had their own idea!
I realised that there weren't any definite answers to all these labels or other lesbian issues. Just be who you want to be and be comfortable with it. I think that's the first most important step - once you accept who you are, the other issues will be more manageable.
I listened at lot and did not contribute much during the discussion. But listening to them helps me understand me better. I got to know more people who are like me. And to know that there is a space for me to get support and acceptance for who I am is a blessing. Thank you, Women's Nite, for giving me a space to belong.
My view as a first timer? I should have joined long time ago...