This is What a Lesbian Looks Like: Amy Lamé
The former Jersey-girl, author, performer and broadcaster talks about living large across the pond.
Photo credlt: Sami Knight
On being described as “an ironic take on the 1950s American housewife”: I am fine with that, though a more accurate description might be: “a chubby glamour-puss with trademark diamante fly-away black-rimmed spectacles and an ironic take on retro style.” I was recently described after a TV appearance on Sky News as a “fat flowery floozy spouting leftwing nonsense.” I think that’s about right; I’d like that on my tombstone!
On lesbian stereotypes: As lesbians, we’ve thrown out the rulebook on so many levels, so there’s no reason why we can’t throw out the one on image, too. I’m a girly girl at heart. I see every day as one big dressing up opportunity.
On being a Jersey girl who moved to London at 21: I grew up on the Jersey shore, an hour from N.Y.C., in a big, crazy Italian/Irish family. Most gay people move to the city; but it was just too close to home for me. Now, I really miss diners, the beach, and American optimism. I think I’ve managed to meld my wide-eyed American nature with a downbeat British outlook—I became a British citizen a few years ago—I now have dual citizenry. A healthy dose of cynicism is essential for survival here.
On her current partner: When I moved to London I got a job in First Out, an LGBT community-style café. I basically wanted to meet loads of lesbians and sleep with as many of them as possible. Jennie walked in one day, and that was that. Needless to say I never got the chance to sow my wild oats. I fell in love instantly. I think she was just overwhelmed by my chubby glamour and outrageous American attitude. Whatever it was, it obviously worked. We’ve been together 17 years now.
On her multifaceted career: I’ve written and performed a number of one-woman stage shows, done a few big reality TV shows, presented and appeared on countless TV and radio programs, written for the U.K.’s leading newspapers and magazines, traveled, eaten and reported my way across the globe, done lots of charitable work, and won a couple of awards along the way, which is nice. But a few things are special. Co-founding and hosting my club night and performance collective, Duckie, is number one. TV-wise, I mentored a group of young LGBT people for a program on Channel 4 called My Big Gay Prom. And on the eve of our Civil Partnership, Jennie and I celebrated with the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah at the Government’s first ever LGBT reception, and Gordon led a toast to us. So, technically, we had our bachelorette party at 10 Downing Street. But I think the best is yet to come.