I have already done a Lesbian FAQs post, but then I soon realized I needed to do a Personal FAQs post also, because I find that I am being asked the same general questions over and over.
Recently, people have seemed to be curious about me because I am happily married to the controversial blogger Dirt.
Also, people have always been curious about me because I don’t look like their (incorrect) stereotypical notions of what a lesbian “should” look like.
So, here are my current Top 5 Personal & Dirt-Related FAQs:
FAQ #1: “Are you sure you are a lesbian? You don’t look like one.”
Answer: Yes. Being lesbian is not about what I wear, what I do, etc. It is who I am.
FAQ #2: “Why do you and Dirt have to talk about Straightbians all the time? Why not just live and let live? Why do you have to label people? Why are you trying to make people fit into a box?” (etc., etc., etc.)
Answer: Because lesbian lives matter. Because not every woman can become a lesbian. Because straight women who are not honest with themselves and not honest with their lesbian partners about their true orientation mess up lesbian lives in a variety of ways, ranging from mild to horrific. Because language matters. Because lesbian is not just a word, it is who we are. Because we are incredibly sick of the appropriation of lesbian lives and lesbian culture by straight women with their straight privilege.
FAQ #3: “Why can’t Dirt just be nice? Why does she have to be so blunt/rude/etc.? Why does she ‘bully’ people? Why does she have to hurt people’s feelings?” (etc., etc., etc.)
Answer: Dirt has an imperative message to convey. Lesbian lives are being ruined or even lost, so she does not have the time ~ nor the desire ~ to mollycoddle everyone’s feelings. She says what she means, and she means what she says. She makes people uncomfortable with her message. And we should be uncomfortable.
FAQ #4: (Related to FAQ #3): “Why don’t you talk to Dirt about her style? Doesn’t she know you can ‘catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’? You’re Dirt’s wife, why don’t you make her be nice?” (etc., etc., etc.)
Answer: I am not Dirt’s keeper ~ I am her wife, her partner, and her best friend. I love her and support her exactly the way she is. Love is not about trying to change someone.
Also, I don’t buy into the BS that women should have to “be nice” in our communication style. (Unfortunately, so many women have subconsciously bought into the “be nice” message, and these are the women who are asking this question).
Furthermore, and most importantly, I agree with Dirt. We have very different communication styles and very different ways of saying the same thing, but…bottom line, make no mistake: we are saying the same thing.
FAQ #5: “Why is Dirt against trans people? Why is Dirt so ‘transphobic’? Why not just live and let live? People are prejudiced against lesbians, so shouldn’t lesbians support the trans community the way lesbians want to be supported? Why does Dirt care about trans issues; why doesn’t she mind her own business?” (etc., etc., etc.)
Answer: Sigh. This is going to be a long answer…
First of all, neither Dirt nor I are “against trans people”. Neither of us would ever advocate for anybody to be bullied, harmed, or denied basic civil rights (housing, employment, etc.) for any reason.
Dirt does not wish trans people harm ~ it’s quite the opposite, in fact.
Dirt is concerned about the trans trend for a number of reasons, and one of the main reasons for her concern is the use of dangerous hormones and surgeries on (previously) healthy bodies.
Dirt is concerned that people are so gung-ho to jump on the trans bandwagon that they are skipping over the fine print on those ubiquitous “informed consent” forms; you know, the ones where the doctors are telling them that basically the long-term effects are unknown and that they are taking their lives in their own hands and that the doctor will not be responsible when the crap hits the proverbial fan.
Dirt is also specifically concerned about the transitioning of lesbians and about the harmful and flawed message that the trans trend is sending to girls/women everywhere, but particularly to lesbians: that there is a “right” way to be female, and if a girl/woman doesn’t fit into that narrow definition, then, by golly, she must be trans!
Nonsense. There is no “right” way to be a female. As Dirt says, “Change your world, not your body.”
Moving on to the next point, the term “transphobic” is both nonsensical and inaccurate. A true phobia is “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something”.
Dirt and I are not extremely afraid of trans people (well, unless they were to show up at our place wielding machetes as some have threatened to do).
‘Transphobia’ is just another misused term used to twist language until it begs for mercy, to confuse people, and mostly, to silence any questioning or dissension.
Regarding the question of “Why not just live and let live?”: The trans trend can never be a “live and let live” sort of situation because lesbians are being misled and harmed.
If this were truly a “live and let live” world, the opposite of the trans trend would be true: girls/women would be free to express femaleness in whatever way is natural and right for us ~ free from the ridiculous stereotypical notions of the so-called “right” or “wrong” way to be a girl/woman. We should be free to wear blue…or pink…or any damn color we want. We should be free to be ourselves, without any judgments or idiotic assumptions that we must
really be male if we like the “ wrong” color, or play with the “ wrong” toy, or have the “ wrong” interests/hobbies.
So for those of you who want Dirt to just “live and let live”, how about you turning it around and start advocating for letting lesbians live in peace, free from the antiquated and preposterous notions of what females “should” be/like/do/etc.?
Regarding the argument that lesbians “should” blindly and wholeheartedly accept the trans trend because we have faced difficulties ourselves: this argument is a lame but often surprisingly effective attempt to guilt lesbians into accepting the unacceptable. This argument is designed to tell lesbians to keep our mouths shut.
But it won’t work; well, at least not with Dirt or myself, and it shouldn’t work with any reasonably intelligent person…well, at least not once she realizes the purpose of the question is pure manipulation.
We are not obligated to believe in or to accept anything. We don’t have to “be nice”. We don’t have to be politically correct.
The struggles lesbians face are our own, and just because we face struggles in life doesn’t mean we are responsible for taking care of everyone else’s struggles too. We have a right to focus our energies on ourselves.
This “lesbians-be-nice” argument is a variation of the same old overused tired argument that tells women in general that we have to be caretakers to everyone else but ourselves.
F**k that and f**k everyone who tries to play on women’s natural tendencies to be kind in order to get their way.
Before this turns into a dissertation, I will close for now. These are the main questions I have been asked lately, but if you have any more, as always, please feel free to comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.