1st & 3rd WEDNESDAY / MONTH
Lavender Teatime is a twice monthly peer support group hosted through Calgary Outlink that serves as a supportive social space for those whose identities are informed and understood in relation to experiences of queer womanhood, including trans, non binary, and cis folks as they feel comfortable in this space. It will be held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month. Currently our groups are being held over Zoom due to COVID-19 safety precautions.
We understand and recognize that there can be a lot of nuance to how each of us identifies and that we do not all use the same language even when we might share similar experiences. We recognize also that our unique identities can shape the ways we experience and are experienced by the world and that our experiences might not align even when we share identities. We celebrate these differences and strive to create space where all our beautiful diversity can shine! There are endless ways to identify and even more ways of being in community. If you feel that you align with this group, you are welcome here!
This meetup is intended as a space for casual connection, reminding us that we do not need to be socially distant even while practicing physical distancing. This is not a structured therapy group nor is it a dating space. If you are looking for further support, Outlink staff are available to meet with you one-on-one or in small groups by phone, text based messaging, or video call upon request. They can also help connect you to other counselling and support services.
Please note that this meeting is moderated by Outlink staff/volunteers who reserve the right to remove anyone from the group who is in violation of our Safer Space Ground Rules.
What’s in a name?
Our use of lavender in this group’s name is in reference to the “Lavender Menace” as well as the general association that lavender has with the LGBTQ+ community more broadly. The Lavender Menace was a largely informal, short-lived group of radical lesbian feminists whose actions in the 1970’s, demanding inclusion in the American women’s liberation movement which otherwise purposefully excluded them, is often seen as a significant turning point in the history of feminist and lesbian feminist movements.
The phrase “Lavender Menace” originated with the (American) National Organization for Women’s co-founder, Betty Friedan, calling the lesbians in the organization “a lavender menace,” describing the threat that she and others believed association with lesbians posed to the women’s movement. It was thought that the significant inclusion of lesbians would discredit the movement’s work and limit their ability to achieve desired political change. In true lesbian fashion, lesbian members of the movement, many of whom were associated not only with NOW but also with the Gay Liberation Front, leaned into this descriptor and organized raucous public demonstrations, educational workshops, writings, and social activities under the name, bringing awareness to issues of gender, sexuality, race, and class politics.
We recognize that the Lavender Menace, and the Radicalesbians as they would come to be known, were not without their issues - and indeed ultimately led to the group’s disbandment. Their exclusion of bisexuals, for example, is certainly not something we want to emulate! We envision this group as a space for sharing, learning, growth, and connection.
We use this name as a reclaimed symbol for radical queerness and lesbianism in an all-encompassing way. Historically, we understand that lesbian has often been used as an umbrella term covering a wide range of gender and sexual diversity and we want this to be reflected in our intentions for this group and its name. Whether you have been in this type of space for a long time or are just starting to wonder what identifying in this type of space might mean or look like for you, if you want to be in community with us, we want to be in community with you, and we look forward to sharing tea with you soon!
6:30 to 7:30 pm