Once a month, at the same time in a different part of the country, a group of lesbian and bisexual women meet to talk in an intimate atmosphere, titled “our lesbian living room.” It is here where the magic happens. “In every city there are women who are looking for a community life and a group to belong to, and the ‘living room’ meets precisely this need.”
Dafna Even-Lechov, a feminist lesbian, mother of three, advisor to the mayor of Kfar Yona on gender equality and director of the elementary schools in the city, was the one who came up with the idea of establishing an open forum for lesbian women in Israel.
“When I was in a relationship, I wasn’t a part of the community,” she says. “We were assimilated into society, and we never let ourselves enjoy the lesbian community life. After the breakup, the shortage was suddenly felt. I didn’t want to enter into a new relationship, I just wanted a friend. To hang out. To talk. There was a lack of a platform of meeting women for friendship and not for a relationship.”
From the moment Daphna understood the need, she opened the Facebook group “Our Own Lesbian Living Room”, wrote her vision and published a date for the first meeting, in her own living room in Kfar Yona.
“I was excited by the event and prepared for it,” Dafna says. “I knew that I wanted an intimate meeting that would make new friendships and deepen the existing ones. In my vision I saw us, a group of women sitting and talking about lesbian relationships from different points of view. And so it was. There were ten women, most of whom came from Tel Aviv, and that was a bit of a laugh. We joked that I brought Tel Aviv to Kfar Yona.”
Since the first meeting in August 2016, almost every month there have been meetings of the lesbian living room in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Giv’atayim, Ramat Gan, and currently Dafna is working on expanding the activities to other cities – Kfar Saba, Be’er Sheva and Haifa.
“I love to see that the women who meet feel that they are part of a group. The women who come are usually 37 and older, ages where making new friends is rather more difficult, and in every city there are women who are looking for community life and belonging. With ‘togetherness’ being the main idea of the living room, a lot of intimacy is created.”
Even-Lechov, a graduate of the Gender Department at Bar-Ilan, a group facilitator and a mediator, guides the meetings and takes care of the content of the meetings.
“It usually starts with an introduction round, and in every meeting we talk about a variety of subjects,” she explains. “From time to time an external lecturer is invited, such as Heidi Moses, who spoke about coming out in an ultra-Orthodox society. Other meetings dealt with lesbian relationships from a different point of view- connection with the ex, accuracy with the choice of partner, what happens to me in a relationship – do I grow or assimilate? and division of roles in relationships, lesbian bed death and much more”