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Don’t ignore butch lesbians, says T.S. Eliot prize winner Joelle Taylor

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Taylor, 54, said she hoped her prize-winning “C+nto & Othered Poems” could act as a catalyst for other under-represented LGBTQ+ people to offer “an alternative narrative”, urging TV production companies to embrace them as writers. “It’s about the media accepting a far more diverse set of narratives, and the way we look and owning the fact that they own the narrative to begin with,” Taylor told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a video call from her London home.

Taylor, who was named earlier this month as winner of the 25,000-pound ($33,692) 2021 prize, joins the likes of Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney in winning the high-profile award. “The more we put out alternative ideas of what it is to be a woman, or what it is to be lesbian, the better,” said Taylor, who praised LGBTQ+ filmmakers such as Campbell X and Roman Manfredi, alongside the recent documentary Rebel Dykes.

In recent years, some butch and gender non-conforming lesbians have come to the fore, such as Lea DeLaria and Hannah Gadsby, who initially found success in the United States and Australia respectively.

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