About this time last year, I was covering the LGBT beat for a local Philly digital magazine called PhillyHappening.com, a newcomer to the Philadelphia digital media market. One day, I had a revelation – there are plenty of local outlets that spotlight the LGBT community (Philadelphia Gay News, G Philly) and even more that focus specifically on gay men. But where was the outlet for the ladies who love ladies? Where was the coverage of the lesbians and queer women who are truly the movers and shakers in this city?
If it doesn’t exist, why not build it? That’s how Phillesbian.com was born. My full time job as an SEO Specialist means I dabble in simple WordPress web design from time to time. I’m also a writer. My girlfriend Rachel is a graphic designer – so we figured with our combined skills, we could take this idea and bring it to fruition. It took about 5 months (and countless nights and weekends of hard work), but by May of 2012, she and I officially launched Phillesbian.com – the only digital magazine in the city of Philadelphia catering directly and exclusively to women who love women.
The response was even better than I had ever anticipated. We got tons of messages, emails, Facebook messages, etc., telling us how important this was to the city – that a resource like ours which calls attention to the incredible things lesbian and queer women in this city are accomplishing on a daily basis – was sorely lacking.
Recently, Philadelphia Magazine published an article called “Your Guide to Philly’s A-Gays” with the tagline “Meet the city’s rainbow movers and shakers.” The article lists 19 of the city’s “movers and shakers” – all of them men, and all, with the exception of one, white.
First, I was initially shocked. Did they really not include a single woman in this piece?? And only one minority? Then, I was angry. How dare a popular, mainstream publication like Philly Mag (which publishes G Philly!) put forth this piece that completely neglects such a large, vital part of the LGBT community? It was very personal to me, and felt like a slap in the face.
I’m still shocked, and I’m still angry. But I’m even more determined to make Phillesbian.com the best possible resource for local queer and lesbian women. We exist – and not only do we exist – we are lawyers and doctors, workers for the City of Philadelphia, website designers, public relations specialists, teachers, social workers, police officers, moms, sisters, aunts, daughters, etc.
Contrary to popular belief, we are a large part of the “rainbow movers and shakers” who run this city. And I intend to prove that day by day, week by week. Thank you all for your continued support of Phillesbian.com – articles like the above show how important is it that we keep recognizing our accomplishments as women, and as queer women, and fighting the good fight.
Lauren is the Founder and E-I-C of Phillesbian.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.