At Home With Ourselves is an interview series in which we profile lesbian homes. From van life to the suburbs, from self-built cabins to studio apartments, from collective houses to the things that make you feel at home wherever you may find yourself. Wherever and however lesbians live, we want to know about it.
Welcome to our first profile! We are happy to introduce Tee, who wanted to share her home-away-from-home.
Devorah: Hi Tee, thanks for inviting us over! Tell us about your place.
Tee: An important home for me is the one I create when I’m camping, preferably with other lesbians. This can occur in pretty much any place, though setting up on women’s land can make it extra special. The home space I create includes my tent and sometimes a screen house/storm shelter. When I’m sharing the space with other women, I often include decorations to jazz it up a bit and define our space.
Devorah: As someone who has had the benefit of being your neighbor, you definitely make it special! Your decor is beautiful, the screen house is a perfect hangout spot, and your solar pathlights have guided me home many times! How long have you lived here, so to speak?
Tee: My love of nature and camping was inherited from, and nurtured by, my mother. I’ve been doing it since I was a wee girl. In that time my outdoors home has evolved from a tiny canvas pup tent with two wooden poles, no zippers, and no netting (i.e., no way to keep from getting soaking wet and covered in bug bites) to a veritable palace that has enabled me to weather many a storm in comfort.
Devorah: What’s your favorite thing about your home?
Tee: I can stand up in both my tent and my storm shelter. And my back thanks me for it every day. I know that you didn’t ask for my second favorite thing, but I need to add it. My tent has a vestibule that is large enough for me to take off my rain gear before entering the tent proper. No more soaking wet bed reminiscent of my pup tent!
Devorah: Being comfortable is so important! What’s the coziest spot in your home?
Tee: Oh, definitely my bed. My sleeping space has evolved over time from actually lying on the ground to the luxury of a very nice air bed. My back also thanks me for that. I recently had a lovely, cozy time on my bed, reading a trashy lesbian novel as a thunderstorm poured and growled outside, with nary a drop of rain inside my home.
Devorah: That is very deluxe. Okay, what’s the dykiest/most deep lez thing in your home?
Tee: I’ve been told that the whole thing, down to the plaid flannel in my sleeping bag, is pretty deep lez, but the decorations I put up say it all, just short of spelling out D-Y-K-E. (Think lezzie flags, a bit of rainbow gear, and more than one labrys.)
Devorah: Yeah it’s hard to choose any one element… you have it all covered. In plaid! What’s your proudest DIY or Dyke MacGyver fix?
Tee: I had to fix several pieces of gear during a recent extended camping trip. I started out with expensive “official” repair materials. They turned out not to be worth the plastic they were made of. Duct tape to the rescue! I’m only embarrassed to say that another lesbian had to provide the roll of tape. Seriously, my very official dyke badge lost some of its shine that day.
Devorah: Hey, no woman is an island. I don’t think your badge is in any way tarnished, and you helped another lesbian maintain hers. That has to count for something. What’s your next home project?
Tee: Definitely all about figuring out a better way to keep my food consistently cold enough. Years ago I shared a horrible gastrointestinal infection with lots of women (IYKYK). That was enough to keep me working on staying safe now.
Devorah: An admirable and practical goal–we love public health. Tee, thanks again for showing us around. Undeniably, you are glamping, but it’s still got that crunchy vibe. Any lesbian would love to have a camp like this. I am usually on team “more women, less stuff,” but your setup is a very convincing counter. With this, you can really be comfortable and offer hospitality. As the young people say…it’s goals. May you enjoy it in good health for a long time to come.
*All photos by Tee
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