Lesbian dating personals
At some point last year, Leola Lula, a 32-year-old living in Seattle who organizes a monthly queer party called Night Crush, concluded that Tinder was a barren wasteland.“It was really bleak,” she says.
“I’d already met or matched with everyone, or everyone I saw was already a friend.”So she decided to try something different: a personal ad on @herstorypersonals, an Instagram matchmaking experiment for the lesbian, queer, trans, and nonbinary community.
But it wasn’t all photos of whip-wielding dykes and handcuffed femmes; it also published groundbreaking stories about queer life and culture, including some of the first reporting on the AIDS epidemic within the lesbian community.
At its peak, the magazine had a full-time staff of 10 and a circulation of 20,000 — not insignificant for a publication that basically existed on the fringes of the fringe.
One day, she asked for Lula’s address so she could mail her a book of poetry; a few months later, in June, Dot sent Lula 32 long-stemmed red roses for her birthday, along with two records and tickets to see her favorite band.
At that point, they hadn’t even spoken on the phone. They’ve been dating ever since, and they’re starting to talk about relocating to each other’s cities.
But those moments of connection have vanished as these spaces shut their doors, and not much has emerged to replace them.
The queer community, and the lesbian community in particular, has been suffering from a lack of a clubhouse — a gathering space, real or virtual, to replace the rapidly shrinking physical territory we can claim as our own.
I like everything from Vixen to Wagner”).“We thought they were so clever,” says Bright.On top of that were the more puritanical strains of the feminist movement: Among a subset of radical queer feminists, including some lesbians, porn was viewed as an instrument of the patriarchy, an evil beyond redemption.Into that sex-starved void, On Our Backs cast its net.As she scrolled through the xeroxed back pages, she discovered the women-seeking-women ads that would become the inspiration for @herstorypersonals.
Rakowski, who has an eagle eye for queer social media catnip, began posting some of the vintage ads on @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y.
“It was the first time in my life that I was ever courted,” says Lula. Lula and Dot aren’t the only happily-ever-afters who met through @herstorypersonals: A little more than a year into its existence, the Instagram throwback to the days of lonely hearts ads has successfully matched dozens, if not hundreds, in romantic relationships, and connected countless others in various forms of simpatico queerness — from long-distance pen pals to mutual photo-likers to real-life friends and hookups.