Home' LOTL : June 2011 Contents 20 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
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When they met almost fifteen years ago, Jacquie Walter and
Bernadette Carroll formed Bluehouse and have since been
performing their unique style of folk-flavoured pop across
the world. In the lead up to their much anticipated performance at the
upcoming Lesbians In The House gig at the Sydne y Opera house, Jacquie
talks to LOTL about inspiration, discrimination and lesbian harmonies.
What does the Lesbians in the House concert mean to you? Why are you
I think for Bluehouse it was really the enthusiasm that Georgina has for the
proje ct. And be cause I know we’re almost old enough to have been part of
the first one twenty years ag o! (laughs) When she contacted us to do it, the
idea and the ethics behind it really appealed and of course it really appeals
taking over the Op era House for a night of women’s music! You can’t ask for
more than that!
What do you hope the concert audience takes away from the event?
I kind of hope, and this includes us as performers, that what we all get from
it is a sense of pride in our g ender and what we can achieve as women. And,
you know, I don’t want to sound too warm and fuzzy but I hope we walk
away with hug e smiles on our faces and feeling slightly empowere d about
Why is lesbian visibility important to you?
For Bluehouse it was never a consideration to push that as a barrier, howe ver,
we never had a thought as performers that we were anything but out. It’s
almost like a broader community ser vice announcement. It’s about getting
out in the market place in g eneral and doing what you do successfully and
ne ver having to think about being in or out of the so called “closet”. We just
are who we are. I think it’s impor tant to be as out and proud as p ossible. And
so that people aren’t afraid of us! (laughs) It breaks down ignorance and it
breaks down fear as well.
Have you faced discrimination as an out lesbian performer?
It’s ver y difficult to say if we’ve faced dire ct discrimination. There’s probably
some cover t discrimination with record companies in Australia. Because we
haven’t backed away from being out and we have known in the past that a
lot of record industry representatives have be en at our live shows and have
been a little intimidated by such a wildly enthusiastic, predominantly female
You know, these are g uys in suits. So what do they do with a performer
like that? Not understanding that the g ay dollar is e ver y bit as pre cious and
valuable as the straight dollar.
What do you think the next 20 years has in store for lesbian singers?
I think that there’s a lot doors being opened. It’s hard to say whether pe ople
will stay in the closet as performers. I seem to have se en that happ en here
in Australia, people are a little bit more hesitant, once they’ve signed to a
record label, to be “out” as performers. Although we all know that there are
quite a few performers out there who are but they shall remain nameless. I’m
not in the business of outing people! (laughs)
Hopefully that will chang e and it won’t even be a tick in a box anywhere.
People will express whate ver they want to express. In their music as well. I
hope they don’t feel that they have to write gender specific lyrics.
That’s an interesting point, I’d never thought about lyrics before.
Yeah well, I guess some of our neg ative comments that we’ve had for example
audience members come up and ask, “Why do you have a song about a boy
and a girl?” Now, I find that a little bit like reverse discrimination! I find that
kind of weird. Heterosexuals fall in love too- god love ‘em ! (laughs)
Oh god how weird!
It was, but not as weird as some one saying we had lesbian harmonies!
What famous lesbian most inspires you?
Well, I went to see the Annie Lebowitz photographic exhibition and I was
astounded at her braver y of her including her personal photog raphs of
her life with Susan S ontag . I was thought that was incre dibly brave. And
although she’s a bit of a numb-nuts with mone y, I have to admire her ability
to succeed in an industry that was incredibly male dominated.
Catch Bluehouse’s gorgeous sounds when they perform at the Sydney Opera
House on July 10 as part of Lesbians In The House.
Singing up a storm for Lesbians in the House. Sian Gammie reports.
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