By Kylie Mitchell
Brisbane OWLS are a lesbian group designed for the older lesbian and provide a social network for older women who are coming out into the Lesbian Community. OWLS are often a group that are forgotten about and I thought it might be nice to remind everyone of some of the groups available out there for people from all walks of life. I recently caught up with Eve and spoke with her about the OWLS network and what it offers to the community.
How long has it been since OWLS was formed in Brisbane?
OWLS was formed in Brisbane the year was 1990. We are a proud club and committed to helping women aged 35years and over coming out into the lesbian community.
OWLS stands for OLDER WISER LESBIANS.
We are here to offer our support to all women by giving them a sense of belonging and friendship whenever needed.
What sort of Activities can people expect to get involved with?
Our club provides many activities and events these include, dances, picnics, lunches, dinners, golf and a weekly supper on a Wednesday night, held at the Bronco's Leagues Club.
We realise coming along to any event for the first time is quite daunting, therefore arrangements are made beforehand to meet people at the door.
When new people come along to our events we endeavour to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Introduce them around, do not ask personal questions, and explain that we are all like minded women who enjoy each others company.
What made you become involved with OWLS?
I was looking for a club that was well established, had a good reputation for being friendly, a place where women took the time to listen and understand.
What advice would you offer to Women coming out later in life?
Coming out is difficult and sometimes daunting, this is why we are grateful to have organisations within the community that are there to help. Many of these are accessible through the internet and help lines. A well known group that are can offer support are GLWA (Gay and Lesbian Welfare Association), offering peer support to men and women on many issues within the community.
What would the Brisbane OWLS like to see the most?
Hopefully over the next few years the GLBT community will be much more widely accepted due to the new legislation being introduced, therefore the issues of sexual identity and gender will be accepted by the broader community and even gay marriage become legal.
In an ideal world these issues would not be issues and everyone would be over the moon but while people need help OWLS will be here and women can be assured that they will be made feel welcome and given self confidence.
Coming out at any age can be very difficult, and finding a social network of likeminded people can make a huge difference in the journey. OWLS is one of many groups available to women that offer events, and a safe network of people to meet. If you would like more information on the Brisbane OWLS go to www.owlsbrisbane.com.au or check out the community groups page at www.qgroups.com.au to find a group that suits you.