Lord knows Ellen Degeneres , Suze Orman and Rachel Maddow aren’t at the top of their respective games in entertainment, personal finance and news reporting because they are lesbians. Nope. They are infused with irresistible intelligence, strength of character, and charisma that has opened America’s heart to a whole new breed of woman, despite their sexual preference.
It is probably not a coincidence that each is also in a long-term committed relationship. They’ve built with another the base upon which they challenge deeply held assumptions of what lesbians, of what women, and in fact what all of us can be.
But think for a moment about Ellen, Suze and Rachel getting married. These lesbians aren’t the girly, girl-lovin’ women of frat boy fantasy. Each would look absurd in a formal wedding gown (okay, Suze could pull it off). Instead these wildly popular celebrities exemplify a new breed of woman who isn’t willing to be hemmed in by her sexual orientation, her professional options, or what she will wear on “the most important day of her life.”
This could be a post about how lesbians who choose traditional gowns for their non-traditional weddings can still tap the wealth of resources targeting brides within a multi-billion dollar industry. But how those of us who want to sneak into the rich universe of menswear for matrimonial inspiration have got pictures of Ellen DeGeneres and Melissa Ethridge and nothing else.
It could be about why – devoid of style guides, welcoming department stores and supportive sales clerks – formal wedding wear is only one of the fashion challenges we face. It could be about market opportunities for brands that want a piece of what Fast Company Magazine (November, 2009) calls $700 billion in annual GLBTQ buying power and our readiness to help them better serve us. But I’ve established dapperQ.com for that purpose, a virtual community where those of us who are “transgressing men’s fashion” can find our allies and one another on this cutting edge.
Instead, it is an invitation to any:
– Company that wants to start adapting “men’s” clothes to non-traditional women
– Website that wants to carry our content or provide content we can use to serve this market.
– Department store that wants to make us feel welcome.
– “Straight” woman who doesn’t find her sense of fashion reflected in mainstream mags (we won’t “recruit” you but we will welcome you).
dapperQ is just getting off the ground, but we are eager to build wide-ranging partnerships both within and beyond the GLBTQ community. We are especially eager to make solid connections with the fashion industry which is key to advancing the challenges you will find documented already in this site. Ideas have been coming fast and furious since we launched at the first of the year. Contact me if you’ve got some especially good ones.