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Conversations with Hogi

This week, I made my debut on Conversations with Hogi , the podcast put together by Mama Koogs Arts. Over the course of about 45 minutes, we talked about our attempts to engage with the BBC over Berena and Holby City , and about different perspectives on wlw audiences. My thanks to Hogi and Katie for asking me on, and for such an enjoyable chat.
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Clowning around at Elstree

As you'll already know if you follow me on Twitter , I went to Elstree today in order to deliver the open letter , signed by 280 people, asking the BBC to engage with us over the hurt caused to a number of viewers, queer and straight alike, by Holby City episodes in December. I'd emailed producers there to ask if they would meet me to talk about the issue. In 2017, when I contacted Holby to speak to them about my research into the (then positive) impacts of the storyline for women-loving women, I was invited down, given a tour of the studios, and had a really long chat with the then Series Producer, Kate Hall (who has since left the BBC). This time, I got no response whatsoever. Yet when I arrived at the gates of Elstree, the security guard appeared to be expecting me. Here's a video of our conversation, with transcription, as there's a lot of background noise. I've tried to block out the man's image, because although he knew I was recording, he's on

Call for submissions

'Sapphic Angst Fest' features in Broken Pencil magazine

Following its win in the Best Fanzine category at the 2018 Broken Pencil Zine Awards, Sapphic Angst Fest has got a one-page write-up in the latest issue of Broken Pencil . It includes the comments of judge Cole Pauls, who felt the zine was "culturally so important". You can buy one of the remaining copies of Sapphic Angst Fest from the Broken Pencil store , though there are some places that they do not ship to.

BBC shies away from 'representation' in response to Berena complaint?

Since posting my thoughts on the denouement of the Berena storyline on Holby City and where the BBC had failed LGBTQ audiences, I’ve been more active on Twitter than I have on here. First and foremost my attention has been on the community of women most hurt by what happened, but I too am grieving the loss of characters that I cherished, so some time away during the holiday period was welcome. I have also been talking to a number of women about action(s) that can be taken now in order to ensure that the BBC recognises what has happened, and that the corporation and other programme makers can avoid doing such harm to an LGBTQ audience again. The campaign website,  # BerenaDeservedBetter , launched on Monday 7 January 2019. Having this week seen the BBC’s response to a Berena fan’s complaint about the handling of the storyline in the latter part of 2018, the importance of getting the BBC to engage with us is clear. This is, verbatim, what was sent back: " H

First, Do No Harm

I’ve been working on a research project with fans of  Holby City ’s Berena for almost two years now, and in that time I’ve had the opportunity to get to know a global network of viewers who have found something special in this rare onscreen romance between two older, professional women. I’ve written about the way that women talk about the impact of this storyline on their mental health and wellbeing  here . We’ve also worked together to produce a zine about these experiences, which you can  read online   too. For a number of people, the Berena storyline has been life-changing. Though we have often been talking about dark moments in our lives, this project has been an overwhelmingly positive experience, with a community of women who are funny and argumentative as well as extraordinarily caring and tender.  Spending the last several weeks seeing many of them in anguish, sometimes withdrawing from their social media accounts to try and protect themselves, sometimes finding