How a stay at an artsy lesbian Airbnb made me question my whole identity

Erotic art leaves Hilary Mitchell feeling somewhat inadequate…



Picture the scene: you arrive at a London Airbnb, expecting to enter a bland, sanitised and impersonal holiday let, only to find that it’s someone’s actual home. And not just any someone: a young, go-getting  lesbian power couple with a penchant for erotic art. Nude self portraits on the wall, cupboards stuffed full of very personal items, and an Emmy award in the bathroom...


Yes, I should have read the listing more carefully, and yes, I should have expected this sort of thing when visiting London (you’d never get this sort of carry-on in my home city of Edinburgh), but even so, it was quite eye-opening to say the least. And it left me feeling, well, a bit... inadequate.


To find out why, we have to go all the way back in the mists of time, to the dim and distant 1990s, where I gradually inched my way out of the closet in the most geeky, awkward way imaginable. My journey of self-discovery started with a crush on Dana Scully from The X-Files, though I pretended to everyone that I really fancied Fox Mulder. So when a brand-new Channel 5 introduced me to a leather-clad Lucy Lawless in Xena: Warrior Princess, my fate was sealed.


I then shuffled off to university, quietly convinced that it didn’t matter whether I was gay or not, as no sensible woman would ever want to date a girl who owned more than one Red Dwarf t-shirt, hid her VHS copy of Bound in her underwear drawer and wore Deirdre-From-Coronation-Street glasses two decades before they would inexplicably become fashionable again with millennials.




Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of DIVA magazine or its publishers.


Read the rest of this hilarious article in the June issue of DIVA, available to buy in print or digitally here. Find out more about the DIVA Music Festival at



Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves. // //


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