Unstraightening Lesbian: Removing The Heterosexual Lens: Rachel Pepper

Note: This is a joint post with Dirt: original post is here. This post is one in a series which will expose some of the biggest culprits among the so-called “Lesbian Experts” who are neither lesbian nor expert.

Today’s subject, Rachel L. Pepper, is a longtime editor for the (allegedly) lesbian magazine Curve (which is rarely lesbian anymore), and a self-described “Blogger, award winning author, editor, and therapist”.

Pepper is also a known Straightbian who, it seems, “supported” her lesbian partner right into transition, and she is currently using her LGBT expertise propaganda to make money by Pied-Peppering gay and lesbian children into transition.

One of Pepper’s early lesbian contributions money-makers was her book The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians, because who better to tell lesbians how to make babies than a STRAIGHT woman?

Even in her pregnancy book, allegedly written for lesbians, Pepper’s true Straightbian trans-promoting colors were already peeking through.  She often mentions so-called “lesbian partnerships” in which one partner is transitioning: breezily, annoyingly, and repeatedly referring to an FtM partner as a “tranny pop”.

In chapter 2, in one passage, Pepper perkily exclaims that FtMs can get pregnant too; but without bothering to address the multiple health risks to the baby if testosterone is administered during the pregnancy.

By chapter 3, Rachel’s true heterosexuality is on full display, when she writes:

If you’re like me, and spent your teenage years trying not to get pregnant with your male partners…”

In addition to the truckload of Straightbian garbage, one reviewer noted some startling medical inaccuracies in Pepper’s pregnancy book:

“While Pepper’s support and encouragement are invaluable and her non-medical advice is excellent, there are some serious obstetrical inaccuracies here. For instance, Pepper describes the procedure of stripping the membranes to induce labor, as ‘pushing away the thin skin covering the cervix’ (p.188). There is no skin covering the cervix. The procedure involves inserting a finger through the internal os of the cervix and then gently pushing away the amniotic sac.  On the same page, Pepper recommends notifying your physician immediately ‘if you haven’t noticed any fetal movements in a few days.’ There is nothing ‘immediate’ about a few days and a few days will be too late for a baby experiencing problems in the womb.  After 32 weeks, ask your physician or midwife how to monitor your baby’s activity pattern.”

Several Goodreads reviewers noticed Pepper’s incessant self-congratulatory, egocentric tone; her Straightbian ways of conceptualizing lesbian relationships; and other issues.  Here is a sampling of the reviews:

“Whenever she mentions any choice a lesbian might have to make in their path towards motherhood, she just can’t resist interjecting what SHE did.”

“My favorite piece of Rachel Pepper extraneous information about her specific family wisdom is when she suggests that warm milk is a perfectly good substitute for coffee during pregnancy. It worked for her! And not only that, but her daughter Francis agrees, and still drinks it to this day! Seriously, Rachel Pepper, WHO CARES?!?”

“In the first chapter, her constant insertions of her own experiences are fine, but she literally cannot get through a single paragraph without talking about herself and her own experiences with motherhood. And this I believe is her unconscious intention in writing the book: she wanted the world to know about HER experiences as a mother. I mean, how could the landscape of lesbian pregnancy books possibly be complete without a book in which we see Rachel Pepper’s perspective.”

If I could give this book less than one star, I would. The fact that so many of us end up reading (and worse, buying!) a book that has such little detailed information — you could learn this much in 30 minutes online — and so much denigration of non-gestational mothers (who apparently shouldn’t breathe on the baby, lest nursing collapse, or consider themselves mothers — “dyke daddy” is okay, though) is a testament to how few good books there are about lesbian parenthood.”

You can tell what you’re in for from the cover, which is of the midriff of a beautiful, smooth-skinned, white pregnant woman with a bare stomach and a sarong around her hips. By the end of reading it, I felt like if I read the words ‘luscious pregnant body’ one more time I was going to kill something.”

“…there are some very annoying bits where she gives rather sententious and unwanted advice about finances (if you can’t afford to get pregnant how can you afford to have a child?!?!??!?! FUCK YOU LADY, POOR PEOPLE CAN HAVE BABIES) and age (younger people shouldn’t have babies! wait until you’re in your late twenties and you’re mature enough to be a parent! you might think you want to get pregnant but you don’t know what you want!).”

The book thinks it’s inclusive but is wildly middle class and also occasionally outdated/clueless.

In numerous places, she, apparently unconsciously, uses quite demeaning and subtly inappropriate words, turns of phrase, and entire perspectives to describe the permanent partnerships that exist between many women and the wife/partner’s role.

After reading copious reviews of Pepper’s Lesbian Pregger book, what lesbian reviewers make clear is that this book was written by a STRAIGHTBIAN who is/was in a relationship with a trans female. Pepper merely uses “Lesbian” to ensnare readers (like she did her trans female partners prior to transition).

After her foray into writing for lesbians in her true Straightbian fashion, Pepper’s perky nose quickly sniffed out a change in the winds of fortune and turned her contributions money-making efforts in the direction of the currently more profitable trans trend: writing books, making TV appearances, and Peppering (get it?) Curve Magazine (supposedly a lesbian publication, with “supposedly” being the key word) with her trans-related propaganda.

In summary, Rachel Pepper is not a lesbian, and she is certainly not an expert in lesbian affairs.   She is currently undermining lesbians, as well as gay/lesbian children, by pushing her clear trans agenda, and she is being enabled to do so by a magazine that purports to be for and about lesbians. 

When called out on her true agenda, in true Straightbian privileged fashion, Pepper passive-aggressively responds using the same “lesbian” magazine as her platform.

We see who and what you really are, Rachel Pepper. It is way past time that lesbians stop forking over our hard-earned cash to you, and to the publishers and magazines who support your agenda.  Get a new hobby, Rachel Pepper, because in the eloquent words of one reviewer of your lesbian work, Seriously, Rachel Pepper, WHO CARES?!?”

22 thoughts on “Unstraightening Lesbian: Removing The Heterosexual Lens: Rachel Pepper

    • I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with her, so I looked her up, and this quote is from the first article I came across:

      “LIKE a latter-day Jean Genet, Michelle Tea is a writer whose work has always been closely associated with the queer demimonde. For almost two decades, she has produced a series of memoirs and autobiographical novels about her growth as a working-class artist and sexual maverick, beginning with The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America (1998). A picaresque novel based on her blue-collar upbringing in Chelsea, Massachusetts, her subsequent coming out as bisexual, and her stint as a twenty-something prostitute…”

      The words “queer”, “bisexual”, “prostitute”, and “sexual maverick”, esp. ALL of these in the very first paragraph, definitely seem to point toward “Straightbian”….

      Liked by 2 people

  1. The horror continues. Why couldn’t she just write a book about her own pregnancy? Nobody would have given a shit, but it would have been more ethical than claiming to write a book about lesbian pregnancy. Oh wait, no ethic appears to be involved. Got it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t stand the “heterosexing” of lesbians. In any case, shouldn’t a book about lesbians focus on actual lesbian (not trans) parents? And why are so few people willing to discuss the ways in which artificial reproduction favors MALE babies? I feel like being a mommy is the new excuse to write self-obsessed fluff…if a teenage girl was writing about her appearance and her trips to the mall, no one would care but make it About The Children (and add a little queer in there) and it’s now a huge deal. Please.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I was thinking about what you’d said about the topic of artificial reproduction favoring male babies and the ethics involved, etc. when I read her book….none of which seemed to concern Pepper when writing it! 😦

      Liked by 2 people

        • I think first a person has to have the awareness that there even is an issue to be concerned about, and I seriously doubt any of those nuances involved have even crossed her mind.

          Check out this video with Pepper:

          At one point (about minute 2:40), Pepper is discussing how a one-year-old (!!!!) ended up in her book about transgender children, and when asked why so many children are “coming out as transgender” now, she says “children now are becoming a little more brave about expressing it.”

          Huh??? Really, Rachel Pepper????
          Apparently, according to Pepper “wisdom”, the one-year-olds of today are SOOOO much braver than those silly, cowardly one-year-olds of yesteryear….!?!?!?

          Not a whole lot of critical thinking happening in Pepperville…

          Liked by 2 people

        • One-year olds cannot possibly be transgender. They have no idea what gender even is. If some idiotic parent thinks their baby is “transgender” that’s because their baby boy cuddled into a pink blanket. Kid has no idea that pink is “for girls.” These parents need a reality check.

          Liked by 4 people

        • Definitely! There are so many things wrong with that idea that we could write a dissertation on that one topic alone. Ridiculous. And it’s beyond chilling that this nonsense is actually happening to children.

          Liked by 4 people

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