BJ Epstein takes a look at Sweden’s new magazine for lesbian and bisexual women … and finds it wanting.
On a recent trip to Sweden, I picked up an issue of Lotus.
Lotus is Sweden’s new magazine for lesbian and bisexual women, although it doesn’t advertise itself that way; rather, it calls itself the “real girls’ magazine”. As such, it clearly doesn’t aim to be a semi-hard-hitting magazine, with deeper, more informative articles interspersed amongst the fashion and sex tips, the way the UK’s Diva is organised. Nor does it seem intended to reach a broad, so to speak, audience; it is apparently modelled on magazines such as Cosmopolitan or Marie Claire, with the exception of having the focus on queer ladies.
In other words, Lotus is for younger women, presumably rather femme ones, given the pink colours, the make-up advice, and the information about pastel clothes.
This is not to say there’s anything wrong with that; there is certainly a population out there that wants tips on performing better cunnilingus along with advice on open relationships, horoscopes, film reviews, pieces on what stereotypes gay men have about gay women, stories about coming out, and the occasional recipe.
Still, I have to admit that I sometimes would like to see more articles – both in Scandinavian and British queer magazines – that talk about slightly more serious matters, such as the fight for equal rights, literature, queer parenting, and aging and illness. Sure, even older queers can use sex advice or travel tips, but that’s not all there is to being LGBTQ.
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