For most people, advice from older couples is right around the corner — as in, you can literally walk into a room and find a cute older couple to talk to about all your relationship quandaries. Unfortunately, most LGBTQ people don't have that luxury, which is what makes BuzzFeed's video "Questions Young Lesbians Have for Older Lesbians" so powerful. The video features a young lesbian couple, Niki and Kelsie, asking an older couple, Robin and Madonna, questions about topics only other lesbians can answer: Romantic advice, the ways representation has changed over the years, and how to ignore the haters and live your life, thanks.
"It's hard to imagine growing older as a couple... when we don't have people around us that represent us," Kelsie explains. Unsurprisingly, Robin and Madonna have plenty to say, and much of their advice sheds light on just how much has changed in just a few short decades. As many problems LGBTQ community still faces today, acceptance of different sexualities and gender identities has rarely been so mainstream as it is today. Just 20 years ago, the national legalization of same-sex marriage was unfathomable to many LGBTQ people; with the AIDS/HIV crisis still fresh on everyone's minds, it was difficult enough simply to meet other LGBTQ people, let alone come out and get married.
Madonna highlights this generational difference when she discusses the effect Ellen DeGeneres had on her life. "When [she] came out, I was able to say at work, 'OK, I'm like Ellen... and if you can just like me for who I am, you'll be fine,'" she says.
Robin and Madonna go on to talk about how they met people when they were growing up, and apparently, some stereotypes have truth to them. Madonna played softball (and so did Niki), and she says she managed to find other lesbians in bars and women's festivals. "These places you would find each other happened to be places where people were trying to make change in the world," she adds.
When Niki and Keslie ask about general advice for young gay couples, Robin stresses the importance of friendship. "If you don't know how to be a friend, you don't know how to be in a relationship, because that's what the relationship is," she says.
Madonna's advice is more along the "haters gonna hate" variety. "Turn off the voices that will condemn you or pretend that they know better than you," she says.
Although Niki and Kelsie are just one generation after Robin and Madonna, it's clear that attitudes toward LGBTQ people are worlds away from where they were a few decades ago, and much of that improvement is thanks to those who came before us. Here's hoping we keep up the good work.
Check out the video below. (Tissues are recommended.)
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; BuzzFeedYellow/YouTube (2)