When I stepped off of the coach in Skala Eressos — limited beachside area in the Greek island of
, in which Sappho ladies Festival has operated for the last 19 decades — we rolled my personal bag past an elderly Greek man.

With several meters between you, I heard him catcall with that painfully aggravating pursed-lip noise that males make to get a lady’s attention. I switched around, incensed that I would come right to bloody Lesbos — the ancestral house of lesbian-kind while the foot of the term “lesbian” — and dudes remained dealing with me personally like a lesser staying. I found myself prepared for conflict until We knew the Greek guy was bent over, hand outstretched, contacting a real pet.

This ready the tone for the rest of the trip. Skala Eressos is actually a town in which women rule, and in which
90 per cent of visitors
tend to be lesbians. (there are numerous males, but they are sincere and available.) I’d entered Sapphic paradise.

Throughout the fourteen days of Sappho ladies Festival, queer females roamed around in groups, in pairs, as well as on their very own, undertaking chilled-out beachy situations. I experiencedn’t realized how much cash I linked beach vacations with heterosexuality until We caught a glimpse of a interacial lesbian couple ingesting meal. Of the many seaside excursions I’d been on in my entire life, this was the very first time I would observed two lesbians eating collectively as they toasted the conclusion the afternoon at sundown.

Queer females happened to be everywhere, as well as for those fourteen days, it really believed normal, usual. Eventually, I happened to ben’t the sole lesbian in restaurant or one of three in the office; everyone was like me. At Sappho, the couple cradling inside water is queer, individuals examining you out tend to be lesbians, the person welcoming you ’round for a sunset beverage is actually homosexual once the day is very long — as will be the women paint of the harbor. There are queer ladies reading tarot notes, queer bartenders shaking cocktails, and a post-nap lesbian stretching like a new baby dog throughout the beach.

It was therefore affirming and tranquil to stay in most — perhaps not for every night or a meeting, but for extended, drawn-out blissful times. There have been countless all of us, so we had been one huge, away, deafening and happy lesbian family members.

Lesbian Watch

If you’re maneuvering to Sappho and aspiring to get some good work completed, I’d damage that program right here now. Every beachside taverna


like a beautiful vacation work spot. They can be all quintessentially Greek, with white wood and navy cushions, plus small gay flags flailing in sea-breeze. They churn out Greek salads, soft yogurt, and freddo cappuccinos (iced lattes but much better) throughout the day.

Nevertheless the power to job is defeated by a couple of things. Very first, the sun. It goes up, ventures throughout the sky, after that glistens over the countless sea. Since it comes, it draws the azure from the air and converts it into a portrait of oranges, pinks, and lilacs. Its a masterpiece — and it is extremely difficult to stare at a Word document while all of this is being conducted.

Next, and somewhat much less powerful: lesbians are interesting. They congregate from inside the mornings and chat with groups of buddies, both brand-new and old. They discuss sets from the euphoria they achieved regarding the dancing flooring yesterday evening into silicone polymer earplugs they committed to because their particular freshly unmarried roomie is embracing the hedonism of island life.

A lot more than this though, they discuss their interests, their unique professions, and game-changing work they are performing in the field. They speak of the tasks they have established at refugee camp in Moria (a few hours out by auto). They discuss about it self-sustaining community live, the documentaries they will have made, the guides they will have published, the events they will have curated, the individuals they’ve energized, and work they may be undertaking with CEOs to elevate the awareness of the organizations.

They’re wise, effective women that take this earth to manufacture a positive change and on this area for connecting with other people like all of them. Everyday, I’d joyfully shut my laptop computer and leave these exchanges wash over and inspire me.

Sappho’s Stone

Today, I’m sure what you’re considering: actually all of this a bit stress-inducing? Like residing on globe L keyword or being stuck in only a little lesbian snowfall globe? Us dykes appear to have sufficient anxiousness taking walks into a lesbian club within our evening finery, not to mention prancing around in a bikini enclosed by our kin.

Luckily, the festival — and the Aegean water — does a good work at mellowing and leveling men and women out. Each and every morning at 10:30 a.m., a few hundred ladies swam 400 yards from the coast to Sappho’s Rock. Herded by a kayak supporting a rainbow flag, females of every age group (the majority of festivalgoers tend to be over 40 — earlier women are seriously where it really is at however,


) with different swimming skills made their particular option to the rock. Some driven forward, and others grappled with cycling noodles; all moved at their own speed through sleek crystalline waters.

When we arrived at the stone, some women scaled to reach the top, but the majority lounged at the base. Individuals were dressed in wetsuits, elegant one-pieces, mismatched bikinis, nothing, snorkels — one individual had a unicorn horn on over her goggles. Females of all of the shapes and sizes talked and laughed without preoccupations. Patriarchal judgments or standards didn’t exist on Sappho’s stone; we had been just a lot of feamales in our very own perfect, basking under the sun.

Once we swam straight back, a lesbian bar known as Budda pub sat at coast filled up with brunching on-lookers. Suddenly conscious of an audience, we psyched myself personally to leave the water efficiently, nevertheless the gravel were like quicksand. I’d just take a step, drain down, and leap forward on all fours. It was humorous and absurd. There seemed to ben’t an ounce of elegance between all of us as we conducted one another up and plowed our way to avoid it, some even shuffling backwards in flippers. We had been all combined within shore-side strive; no-one cared the way they appeared or who had been examining all of them.


We tended not to ever see the rock dance club females for the rest of the afternoon. I appreciated investing my days alone, working (


, eavesdropping on power dykes) in cafés, hearing Greek ladies cackling hysterically during an afternoon plunge, wandering over the beach, going for very long treks, and obtaining massages for the town. Often I played in the lesbian volleyball competition, visited panel talks, watched a tug-of-war competition, sat in friends meditation, got an author’s working area (with acclaimed writer Diana Souhami), or decided to go to yoga with Natasha (that is a remarkably gifted yogi. Those who’d already been exercising for thirty years informed me they’d never practiced an instructor like her, and as I watched a brittle, much-older lady started to class daily and saw just how she did actually progress, elevate, and lighten after each and every session, I knew this to be real).

I then’d seize a gyro for a couple euros, take a seat on a counter, and view the sundown. Three senior women would lay on a neighboring workbench, having to pay respect towards the picture while feverishly talking about situations in Greek.

Time performed peculiar situations in Lesbos. The days rolled by effortlessly, but by the point I kept, it decided I would spent seven years thereon area. Though we commercially performed so bit, it felt like I’d done so much. I made these strong connections together with these important cross-generational, cross-national conversations regarding the patriarchy, queerness, and womanhood. It felt like the area ended up being carrying it out in my situation — all I got to accomplish was take a seat on a bench and eat falafel.

Whenever the night emerged, stars erupted throughout the cloudless sky, and that’s with regards to had been time for you to reunite with the females I’d swam with that morning.


I discuss nightlife for a full time income, but I’ve never skilled the thing I performed about dance-floors of Skala. Every night, the 3 beachside lesbian taverns (Flamingo, Belle Ville, Budda pub) erupted into hives of elegant energy. An excellent line-up of DJs (RPXX, Ritu, Chroma, Bo Monde, Wendy, Promiss, Brenda, Nicky Drummond) played mixes I’d hardly ever heard, weaving collectively numerous many years of songs, comprising types from disco to hypnotic trance. Even while, the sea lapped and crashed contrary to the coast, including another coating with the defeat.

Frequently, a tiny band of ladies began moving near the decks, subsequently several much more joined, and some a lot more afterwards till the beat enveloped your whole room like a flowering flower. There is no worry about being a dancer or not, because there had been no view — just folks loosening right up, feeling every defeat, and drifting in freedom of body and mind. This liberation created a force-field. We had been impenetrable. There had been folks around us all, guys who’d arrived at see the lesbians party, even so they couldn’t enter our very own area, the ambiance, our ecstasy. Every evening, folks had gotten more linked, dancing moves became bolder, and inhibitions turned into a distant mind. Women took up room on that dance-floor like I’d never seen before.

It’s worth observing that there happened to be no party medications during the event. People surely appreciated to drink, and a few liked a spliff, a coffee or a bottle . In just this, everyone was walking around in a euphoric, elevated state. The 70-year-old woman we swam to Sappho’s stone with that early morning was ripping it up about dance-floor at 2:30 a.m. At 3 a.m., she stood along with the rest people, itching for an after-party as if we’d been popping tablets all night.

To shut one of their particular sets, DJ Bo Monde and DJ Promiss played “No origins” by Alice Merton  (blended correctly with Faithless’ sleep disorder). As the track unfolded, we stopped and appeared about. We watched as women from all over society danced with each other. Women who’ve had kids, been fired, been directly, already been nomadic, already been younger, already been lost, been closeted, been hitched. Ladies who’ve viewed more and more people, gone to so many spots. In addition they were every here subsequently, dancing with the words, “i have had gotten no sources, but my personal house was actually never on the ground.” I realized, in that moment, this particular magical destination is when the crazy females started to get a hold of their unique sources.

Ladies’ Area

Collectively group of people, there are particular people that should not end up being a good area of the party. At Sappho, there have been a tiny a small number of people who cannot honor trans people and which problematized all males. There were instances when the energy when you look at the bar ended up being so high — individuals were achieving such delight — whilst still being, someone thought the necessity to disregard this making a spectacle of somebody who would had leading surgery or pick a fight with a person seated peacefully on a stool drinking an after-work beer. They spoke as though we weren’t


queer, so that as if changing patriarchal oppression with matriarchal oppression would solve any such thing.

But these citizens were most definitely when you look at the minority. The collective provided little fat in their eyes. Sappho’s organizers tend to be trans-inclusive, and I made friends with trans ladies who’ve been going to the event for over 10 years.

While the events drew to a close a short while before sunrise, the music turned off plus the sole noise ended up being the ocean surging on the shore. I would accepted my personal dance-floor buddies and oriented back again to my apartment, a two-minute leave. Everyone at Sappho remains in resort hotels, flats, or tents close to the coastline or maybe more up to the village. We were all close — within hiking range together. A residential district, although not claustrophobically thus. We would spend our evenings jointly on the dance-floor, subsequently spend all of our days by yourself, recharging the evening’s unavoidable frivolities.

Along with lifestyle, the event had a complete plan of activity, from lesbian movie screenings to opera activities courtesy of the English nationwide Opera’s Nadine Benjamin (my personal words won’t suffice, very pay attention to
). There is also the Alternative Fashion program, Drag Kings of Eressos, and alive music from loves of S.W.I.M, and Rainbow ladies (a Californian group with razor sharp wit, feminist politics and vocals). Next, for many willing, the time had come to go back to your dance-floor.


The ambiguity between relationships and romantic relationships is a really important element of Sappho ladies Festival and a very wonderful experience for lesbians, within my simple viewpoint. Often, mathematically, you can findn’t many queer ladies available for you to fancy and flirt with. During the festival, you can be keen on someone each day, another that afternoon, and some other person about dance-floor that evening. Next thing you are aware, you have been on the area for 2 times, you’ve got seven crushes, and from now on they can be all going out in identical bar.

Every person dabbles in polyamory (wittingly or otherwise not) at Sappho. The girl you fell in love with regarding first-night is shacking with your own neighbor. The individual you moved paddle-boarding within the mid-day is currently dancing with all the individual you’ve been flirting with because coach trip in. The person you slept with yesterday is having a romantic-looking cocktail utilizing the woman who keeps letting you know she’s staying in area 8. By some miracle, this is simply not demanding; people are choosing the circulation. Openness, conversation, and honesty are fundamental and inescapable, because let’s be actual, island lesbians like news. You need to be honest about your hot girl summer to stop jealousies and insecurities from flaring up-and avoiding circumstances from getting dirty. The festival unintentionally doubles right up as an exercise soil for lesbian polyamorous society residing — or maybe that’s just wishful considering back at my part.


Making was actually tough — quite difficult. We understood from the moment I decided where i’dnot want commit. In the finishing Saturday, we watched women from all around the entire world embrace each other with these power. We’d skilled much together. I saw enthusiasts prised apart, relationships (actually) split up, drinking contacts, yoga friends, next-door neighbors — all these lifelong contacts made rapidly, plucked apart for the next eleven months.

We felt like a kitten who would been grabbed because of the scruff from the throat, positioned in a basket, and eliminated from my people, my location, my Sapphic haven. We almost cried as you’re watching a team of Israelis state goodbye before somebody came up if you ask me to state: “they will see both on Monday.”

When I endured in Mytilene Airport questioning how I’d readjust your far from this lesbian utopia, I consoled me using the understanding that I would be back next year and each year from then on. We realized I would evolved into a far better lesbian: a more powerful person who’s more touching my womanhood and my personal queerness, enriched because of the wisdom, experiences, and insights of my parents. Using my head conducted large and shoulders forced straight back (provided, that could be the yoga), I became willing to float returning to world to make it a less patriarchal, a lot more unified, mindful, queerer place. We flew far from that island, a beaming laugh back at my face, Sapphic secret surging through my personal spine.

Sappho Women’s Festival, Sep 5th-19th 2020,



Mehdi Mehdizadə 29, giriş 1, mərtəbə 3

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Telefon: +994 50 541 40 49
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Mehdi Mehdizadə 29, giriş 1, mərtəbə 3

Bakı, AZ1025
Xətai rayonu

Telefon: +994 50 541 40 49
E-poçt: info@indo.az

Bizim Sosial Şəbəkələrimiz

Sosial Şəbəkə kanallarımıza qoşularaq bizimlə daha yaxın olun.