Cosmopolitan Goes Gay!

Oh em gee, plot twist. Cosmo's for lesbians. Yes: Cosmo, the magazine. Surprised? So was I! However, nonetheless, Cosmo suddenly appears to have become a rabidly feminist publication, and what's more, it's totally pushing the lesbian lifestyle. In a shocking turn of events, it's talking about lesbian experience AS IF IT WAS NORMAL OR SOMETHING. Suddenly, as if in a world gone mad, Cosmo is giving Diva a run for its lesbian lolly.

I'm not a total Cosmo newbie. Was a time when Cosmo was my guilty pleasure. The copies I was FORCED (shifty eyes) to read because they were hanging around the communal areas of my girls' house in boarding school (on every single surface, sofa, toilet seat...) filled me with penis-based revulsion and heterosexual-dating-based rage (when I wasn't giggling at the confessions and admiring the shoes).

Cosmo was a guilty pleasure to the extent that on leaving boarding school, I missed it and would buy it for myself. On a fairly regular basis. Returning from the Himalayan mountains on my gap year, there's a chance I sobbed with joy as I bought a shiny, fabulous Cosmo UK in Delhi airport. I also "liked" Cosmo on facebook and followed them on twitter. Hence why I've been privy to their transformation.
To be fair, I actually think Cosmo has had a good amount of feminist content for a long time, albeit sold behind a cover which discussed Kim Kardashian's ass and 50 Things Guys Crave In Bed. In Cosmo, I have read articles about women's experiences with female castration and sex trafficing, saying, naturally, how horrific these things are. I've also read about women's careers and how we still get paid less, with UK women being paid even less than women in the US on the whole, and Taylor told me she read about how to have a totally equal heterosexual relationship.


However, Cosmo has recently experienced a Sapphic invasion! I noticed mid-December an article about self-love, in which the author discussed her disappointment when she hated her wedding photos. And who was said wedding to? Only a woman! I thought this was pretty gosh darn cool and, after retweeting it and excitedly showing Taylor, largely moved on with life.

But then, a few days later, Taylor discovered another article: 13 Things Not To Say To Your Lesbian Friend . While neither of us were very impressed by this particular article, we were astounded at the sudden amount of lesbian content Cosmo was pushing. And when, this morning, I noticed The 13 Best Things About Being A Lesbian my head exploded. Oh my God, I thought. What is happening? Has Cosmo been inundated by a Sapphic siege? Or... could it be... that Cosmo backs the gays??!


This is such an exciting revelation to me. A mainstream magazine like Cosmo's support makes lesbianism more visible and accessible. It reaches out to those who are wondering if they themselves could be lesbians. I actually get a bit tearful thinking about this, because as I said, Cosmo was read avidly at my boarding school. Maybe a young teenage lesbian nowadays wouldn't have to awkwardly head down to WHSmith and buy one of the three copies of Diva stocked on the Marlborough high street in order to read about someone like herself.

But even more, it teaches Cosmo's largely heterosexual readership about lesbian experiences. Maybe if lesbians had been discussed regularly in Cosmo five years ago, I wouldn't have spent my teen years being treated like a figure who was at best comical, and at worst a freak, by my boarding school peers. Maybe I wouldn't have been asked invasive questions about my homosexuality every few hours. Maybe it wouldn't have taken me - super super confident, out and proud me - three years after I came out to my parents and out-of-school friends to come out at boarding school.


I'm not saying Cosmo is perfect. For every feminist article on Cosmo.com, there's a "funny" article about how women hate blowjobs but give them anyway. For every article advocating the joys of girl-on-girl make outs, there's a very rude article about activities involving semen. But what Cosmo's sudden huge amount of lesbian content does tell me is that the world is finally, finally, changing. It's been a long, long, LONG time coming, but finally, it looks like change is gonna come and that change is going to involve gay girls being featured in women's glossies.

 
And so I raise my cocktail to you, Cosmo. I praise and thank you for your lesbian content and please keep it up. Thank you for talking about us like we're normal people and for discussing what bothers us. Thank you for talking about what makes us smile, be that The L Word, sharing clothes with our girlfriends or kissing a beautiful girl. Thank you for applauding our lifestyle. In doing so, you are doing women everywhere a favour.


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