Believe it or not, I have a life outside this blog (No! Really???LOL!).
This life includes my wife, our cats, my work, our home, family, friends, chores, and errands ~ and, for the last several years, it also included something else that I truly loved: a specific creative practice in connection to an organization in which I’d felt that I was a part of a larger community…but that part of my life ended abruptly earlier today.
Early this morning, I received an email from the official representative of this organization, which I will call “Nameless” (Note: The email has been edited for clarity/brevity; but also to remove any identifying information, of course):
I read your blog and support you speaking out and telling your truth, but…my concern is having your “Nameless” credentials listed on the account where a lot of angry postings are might make people feel unsafe to do “Nameless”…I know you said on your blog that “I will continue to speak up, to speak out, and to stand in solidarity with other Lesbians & with gay men, but I plan to try to do so in a way that doesn’t tear others down and create unnecessary angst/division.” and that is great, we support that mission, but the conversations don’t seem to concern “Nameless” per se and it might be better for “Nameless” work…if we could prevent people connecting “Nameless” inadvertently with any of those pretty ugly postings from others. Can you let me know if this makes sense to you?
Based upon this email, I truly feel it is best for myself, as well as for “Nameless”, to sever my connection with this organization.
Although I seriously doubt that my arguing with lesbophobes (who attacked us first, by the way) on social media would, or even could, make anyone “feel unsafe” to do a nonthreatening creative activity, I nevertheless felt it best to remove myself immediately from an organization which clearly feels that being associated with me is undesirable.
I think I have now removed all traces of my former connection to “Nameless” from this blog and from my other online accounts, including removing old tweets that even tangentially referenced any connection whatsoever to “Nameless”. If I come across any other references in the future that I somehow missed, I will promptly remove those too.
Contrary to my typical first emotional response (anger masking hurt), I am not even angry about it right now; instead, this time, I somehow completely bypassed anger and went straight to hurt.
Although I was confused by the first email, because she mentions my blog, even quotes from my blog, and Twitter, it later seems that she was referring primarily to my Twitter account, and seemingly especially so in regard to the recent lesbophobic brouhahas, which I fought against and documented, in part, here at this blog.
What I do find rather odd and quite ironic, however, is that the very quote she used from my blog was taken from the post where I was specifically denouncing all of the hostility on Twitter and vowing to do my part in ending it ~ despite the entirely justified hurt and anger I felt (and still feel!!) toward those who were/are shockingly lesbophobic (and just plain mean) to me, Dirt, and other Lesbians.
I also find it quite intriguing that somehow suddenly this is an issue, when my connection to “Nameless” had been going on for several years (and I haven’t suddenly changed my topics/style here or elsewhere).
I will likely never know the answer to the question of “why now?”, but my best guess is that someone complained to “Nameless” about me. (If so, I have one word for that person: Karma).
The other major puzzlement I have is: Why am I being called out because of (and I quote) “pretty ugly postings from others“?
As I have always known, but have cruelly been reminded of in recent weeks, lesbophobia is alive and well, and it rears its ugly head on Twitter on a regular basis.
I cannot help that sad fact; nor can I control the postings of others; and my anger and defensiveness at the recent situation were my attempts at fighting the overt and covert lesbophobia that is constantly hurting me and my fellow Lesbians.
It also hurts that this representative showed absolutely ZERO concern/empathy for the horrible lesbophobic treatment I have been subjected to on Twitter…she doesn’t even attempt to pretend that she cares! There was not even a general “I’m sorry that happened”. Instead, she clearly blames & penalizes me for other people’s cruelty.
I can’t help but wonder whether some of this organization’s members’ seeming “acceptance” of me as a Lesbian was conditional/superficial, and I also can’t help but wonder whether there may even be some subconscious, covert lesbophobia lurking behind this person’s emails.
It feels as if I am being told: “It’s ‘fine’ to be a Lesbian, well, as long as you are always super-duper nice at all times, so as not to provoke the hatred/homophobia of others; and then you need to remain super-duper nice, even when under direct attack.”
Plus, what do you think an appropriate response to overt lesbophobic bullying would be?:
A). Come to the defense of a loyal long-term member of your community who is being attacked?
B). Blame the loyal long-term community member for being bullied, and demand that she distance herself from your organization on the bizarre and nonsensical premise that some unknown person who may (or may not) want to try your technique in the future might be inexplicably afraid to do so, based on a stranger defending herself in her own Twitter account?
Hmmm. Think about it. Is it lesbophobia or just a supremely insensitive response to a terrible situation?
Regardless, it is all a moot point now.
Life will go on. I will do what I always do when dealing with any sort of hurt/loss: I will think, journal, and do artwork about it, until it feels like I am ready to truly move on.
Until then, I will allow myself to feel sad about the loss of something that has been important to me and that I truly believed in…even though I belatedly realize now that my feeling of community with “Nameless” was always just an illusion.
***(Please also scroll down to see the 8/25 Update, below the picture)***
August 25, 2017: 9:30 a.m.: Edited to Add:
Subsequent emails have sadly clarified my suspicions about covert lesbophobia lurking beneath the civil surface.
Specifically, later emails from the “Nameless” representative included the following direct quotes (again, note that I am redacting the name of this organization and any other personal information):
“…where you are doing some good activism re helping people understand sexual preference issues, but yet are unfortunately attracting some comments that make the site feel unsafe for prospective _______________(customers of ‘Nameless’)“
“I did get an email from (someone) who was worried whether followers to your Twitter account would feel safe re: ‘Nameless’.”
“I am truly sorry you want to sever your connection with “Nameless”. To be clear again, we just wanted to….separate that part of your work from the page where people are responding to your lifestyle with lots of judgments and homophobia.”
So: Let’s sum it up:
The “Nameless” representative is apparently worried about being associated with me because my Twitter account allegedly “attracts” lesbophobic and judgmental comments from others because of my so-called “sexual preference” and “lifestyle”, which then might inexplicably cause my own Twitter followers to be afraid to do “Nameless”. (Huh????)
Ugh! I think/hope my readers will immediately see the underlying lesbophobia in these quotes, and I trust that you will also see the glaring problems with her “logic”.
And: to the sniveling, sneaky, lowlife, despicable, immature coward who emailed the “Nameless” representative: I fervently hope that Karma has something very special in mind for you, something you truly deserve.
Also: Please see Dirt’s post, here, on this situation.