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“Dirt Is A Failed Transman”: The Urban Myth

I have written before, here, about how the urban myth that Dirt is a “failed transman” persists like a demented zombie in a low-budget horror film.

What I didn’t fully address, though, is WHY this myth is so prevalent.  I did mention that the people perpetrating this falsehood are so trapped in their own gender-straitjacketed notions that they simply cannot conceptualize the fact that Dirt is a LESBIAN, nor do they understand that Lesbian is NORMAL, but I didn’t elaborate further on the underlying causes of this tedious rumor.

But the exact WHY is crucial, and needs to be addressed directly.

Therefore, Dirt did her own post on this topic (link here).

I have also copied and pasted her post below, because I strongly feel that it is important to address the root of this prevalent lie.

So, without further ado, here is Dirt’s response, in her own words:

As not simply someone who has written about Lesbians and transition for more than a decade, BUT as a Lesbian writing about Lesbians and transition, to assuage transgender fears and prejudices, in transgender circles the world over it has become urban myth that I myself have “tried to transition” but sadly “failed“. I’m not quite sure how one would fail, apparently the myth making never got beyond fail, but there you have it. “Dirt is a failed transman.”

A little something about myths:

As there is ZERO facts/truths to me having transitioned/detransitioned/tried transitioning/tried and failed transition, what would be the analogy which motivates these falsehoods? Outside of the zillions of petty little self soothing needs/motivations that spring from the individual, there are two prime reasons for the Dirt is a Failed Transman Myth:

  1. Lesbian has been removed from Lesbians.
  2. If Lesbians don’t exist beyond RadFem anyonecanchoosetobealesbian warped ideology and gender nonconforming confirms transgender origins, then normal Lesbians MUST surely be Trans, even if we fail at it.
Myth doesn’t hide things, it distorts them.”

Prior to Transgender ideology being commonplace, Lesbians like myself were often viewed/called and bashed with phases like mannish lesbians, lesbians who want to be men, lesbians who really are men, lesbians who act like men, masculine lesbians to list a few. Insults all couched in the swaddling cozy comfort of Heterosexuality.

But also prior to Trans Trending, even prior to the DSM III, Gays and Lesbians found comfort in finding other Gays and Lesbians. We didnt feel threatened by other Gays and Lesbians, instead for many of us we felt for the first time what it felt like to BE normal! To KNOW we were normal. NORMAL Homosexuals! NOT freaks of nature! NOT sick mother fuckers who shall burn in hell! NOT Gender Non Conforming! And most certainly NOT Transgender!

How do myths get created?

Between un-signifying Lesbian and inventing signifiers for Transgender from the ashes of Lesbian, Transgender has suddenly ALWAYS existed in human history. So much so, the once Lesbian tropes used by Lesbians (and Gays) as both survival instincts and mating instincts alike, are being used to back label historical Gays and Lesbians as Transgenders of history!

In my case, Heterocentric qualifiers/traits like mannish looking, acts like a man, masculine, handsome (rather than cute or beautiful), wears mens clothes, keeps a short or cropped hair cut, passes as a man etc, with Lesbian removed from history and with me being qualified as man/nish BUT also being a biological female—queers special snowflakes/Transgenders of both sexes/Trans cohorts and allies of both sexes conclude that I’m a transgender who failed at transitioning because I remain calling myself by my sex (female)/and my sex’s proper (she/her) pronouns. And from thence, myth!

I’m not a failed transman because I am, I’m a failed transman because some people need me to be.

dirt

So Many Lies, So Little Time

There is so much incorrect, libelous, ludicrous, and/or otherwise whackadoodle information on the internet about Dirt (and, now, by proxy, me) that it would take an entire encyclopedia set to cover it all.

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Image: © 3D_creation; used under license by Shutterstock

For the most part, I ignore such nonsense, but occasionally, an ally will let me know about a comment so preposterous, so laughable, so incredibly goofy that I just have to make fun of it.

This is one of those times.

This little gem has allegedly been posted in multiple places by the same disgruntled individual:

“Lynn Marie Baker (dirt from dirt) writes a sensationalist blog with multiple weekly posts demarcating anti-transgender rants. He writes his posts with the intention to dismantle the constricting Gender Straight Jacket that is binding and gagging the female experience. He writes provocative blog posts that personally shame and ridicule transgender children, transgender adults, and professionals who help transgender people. He purposefully denigrates the individuals by calling them by their birth pronouns and names (if he knows what they are) and proudly claims it is for the benefit of society. If you correct him on pronouns he deletes the comments and claims he will decide what pronouns the individual should be addressed by. In the end, nobody really cares about incorrect pronouns being used, as transgender people aren’t that thin skinned. However, if you mis-pronoun him he becomes quite irate. I choose to call her by him because it is well known in his personal circles that he used to take testosterone himself. Due to his own ambivalence around physical transition he decided to stop taking testosterone and began posting anti-trans videos and blog posts. The ambivalence he feels is common among lesbians in his age range as their identities are deeply rooted in the lesbian community. Originally, his intentions were probably meant to help provide others who are gender variant and feel in-between genders some hope. However, due his own background being raised by fundamentalists he quickly turned into black and white thinking regarding gender expression. His black and white defensive structure is seen throughout his entire blog posts which indicates a long history of trauma. It’s hard to feel sorry for him though due to his ongoing assaultive behaviors towards others. It would be different if his blog posts consisted of general information about transition and he came from a actual do no harm perspective. However, he moves into a position of harm quite quickly as he becomes triggered by those individuals who transition from female to male. It is no surprise that he has been focusing his blog posts primarily on the female to male transgender individuals and personalizing attacks against them. Lynn is cut from the same cloth as Donald Trump. It’s as though they are related. Lynn uses similar rhetoric in making fun of the underserved and those who are the most vulnerable. Transgender people are the most discriminated against population currently in our society and are at the most risk. Mr. Baker goes after the most vulnerable because this is the most vulnerable issue he deals with. Being conflicted about gender. He is in a relationship with a self-proclaimed psychologist. I say this because she refuses to let everyone know her real identity for fear of public assault and harassment. Yet, she joins her husband in abusing vulnerable people to express their joint agendas. Mrs Dirt knows that she upheld an oath to do no harm and that if she really is a psychologist, she is in clear violation of legal and ethical codes of her profession. Hence, she won’t allow her name to be publicized. Their latest agenda is pointing out real lesbians not straightbians. Another internalized conflict projected onto others. They claim that lesbians who have had sex with men, who support transgender people (in any way), and other random idiosyncrasies disqualifies you as a real lesbian. A few months back it appears they were sitting around looking at their bookshelves reminiscing about their dyke days in the 80’s and early 90’s. They looked at all their lesbian literature and realized that their world has changed. Yes, there are more than two choices for gender and yes, some women are bisexual and yes, Queer is a new identity. Sadness quickly turned to rage and they posted a series of posts that denounced women and their sexuality. Describing many iconic writers as fake or claiming that they are pussy pirates stealing money from the lesbian community. This pointless blog series proved that they are more disturbed than thought before. Their obsession with the Arian sisterhood of lesbianism is diabolical. Much like a Nazi who is going around asking for identification to ensure that they are truly one of us is exactly why we have a president like we do today. They have no tolerance for otherness. These two disturbed individuals must criticize and become cruel to those who don’t identify exactly like they do. It must be quite conflictual to be married to a man and yet hold staunchly the notion that you are still lesbian enough. I am not referring to the butch femme dynamic that sparks their attraction but I am addressing Lynn being a man which is much different than actually being a butch lesbian. Although he claims the butch lesbian identity pretty firmly, clearly he has deep rooted conflicts or she wouldn’t be so triggered and reactionary to transgender people. I could care less how he identifies but then again I’m not writing hate blogs about how other people should live their lives. In addition, I am not stalking children to shame them online and encouraging self-hatred. I believe Mr. Dirt should hold onto his own self-hatred and Mrs. Dirt should hold onto her own anxieties about being with a man. This would save the rest of us from enduring a hate blog about how you are the only two lesbians left in the world of your Arian nation lesbian world. It is not our fault you call him daddy at night and he dreams of transition. That’s your own conflict to hold.”

As I have said before, hateful comments always say much more about the person who is commenting than about the intended recipient.

The obvious intention is to insult, discredit, and harm Dirt and myself.  However, what he/she doesn’t realize is that such comments only make him/her look bigoted, angry, petulant, immature, and uninformed.

By deliberating and repeatedly “misgendering” Dirt and by outright lying about BOTH of us, this person’s true colors are revealed (Examples of the odd lies about me in this passage: falsely and absurdly claiming that I have “anxieties about being with a man” and the bizarre comment “call him Daddy at night“):

This individual is a bitter lesbophobic windbag who clearly is threatened by Dirt’s (and/or my) posts…because this response is way above and beyond the level of any sort of “normal” disagreement with what we are saying.

This individual also simply cannot comprehend Lesbianism, except through a very twisted, inaccurate, heterocentric lens.

This person so stuck in his/her own mental “gender straitjacket” that the fact that Dirt and I are both LESBIANS is apparently incomprehensible to him/her; so, instead of understanding (or respecting) our Lesbianism, so he/she has to mind-warp our relationship into a false and perverse heterosexual dynamic. 

Additionally, the incorrect and vitriolic allegations about our Straightbian posts further reveal an alarming lack of understanding of, AND a shocking lack of concern for, Lesbian lives. 

I won’t bother trying to argue with this person or similar homophobes, because it would be a waste of both my time and theirs. People like this don’t care about what either of us is actually saying, and they don’t take the time to try to find out. Instead, they rely on distorted “alternative facts” (also known as outright lies) in a misguided attempt to malign us.

But, just for the record:

Neither Dirt nor I are “abusing vulnerable people” in any way, shape, or form. This sort of bogus claim is commonly used to try to demonize and discredit us.

Dirt posts information which is ALREADY POSTED PUBLICLY ON THE INTERNET.  Here’s a clue: If you don’t want everybody on the internet to see what you are doing/saying, DON’T POST IT PUBLICLY.  Just sayin’.

Dirt never attempted to transition. The fatuous claim that Dirt is a “failed transman” is one of those completely false urban myths that people repeat ad nauseum, without ever bothering to find out if it’s actually true.  So I will say it again: This rumor is not true, and people who are circulating it only make themselves look sadly uninformed.

Neither Dirt nor I are “cut from the same cloth as Trump“, and to claim we are is beyond preposterous.

Our identities have already been revealed. Although the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the First Amendment right to speak anonymously, someone made it a mission to reveal my identity.

I am a psychologist…not a “self-proclaimed” one. And I have done nothing whatsoever unethical, and it is both untrue and defamatory to claim that I have. Apparently, this individual is completely unfamiliar with the concepts of free speech and healthy professional debate.

The correct spelling is “Aryan”, not “Arian”, Einstein. Regardless, we’re not Nazis or neo-Nazis, nor are we in any way affiliated with such groups. This analogy is daft.

Neither of our blogs include any sort of “hate speech”. Free speech is very different than “hate speech”, and if someone can read (and comprehend!) our posts, he/she should be able to easily see that what we are saying is NOT “hate speech”.

Neither Dirt nor I would ever advocate for anyone to be harmed or denied basic rights (housing, employment, safety, etc.). 

If anyone doesn’t like anything that either of us has to say, please remember that visiting our blogs is completely voluntary.

Dirt and I have one primary goal: To make the world a better place for Lesbians. You’re either with us in that goal, or you’re against us. (People don’t always have to agree with us on every point, of course, but suffice it to say that the difference is clear between someone who is on our side, versus someone who is trying to undermine us).

Finally, always remember that you are revealing yourself through your angry comments, and in this case, this person reveals him/herself to be someone who thinks he/she knows much more than he/she actually does. The result is unflattering.

Update: 04/06/2017: Edited To Add:

Running along the same veins as the ignorant, yet almost comical, comments above, similar comments were also made on Reddit by someone who has chosen to call him/herself “TheIndependantVote”. (I am not sure whether this person simply cannot spell “independent” or if there is a reason for the misspelling.).

Here is a selection of the quotes from the Reddit comments & my responses:

Quote:

“Mrs. Dirt, I can kind of understand. After all, she is that demographic of lesbian.”

My Response:  Could this person possibly get any more uninformed, offensive, and lesbophobic if they tried?  I truly doubt it.

Quote:

“But Dirt, is more of a mystery to me. Is this a self-hating transman? Is this a butch lesbian who has been called a trans man too much and feels upset about it? Or is this a situation where Dirt’s wife is leading Dirt into ruin?”

My Response:

Again, this person is obviously lesbophobic and uninformed about Lesbians.

This person, like our other prevaricator profiled above, cannot see past their own “gender straitjacket” long enough to see that LESBIAN IS NORMAL.

Whether Butch, Femme, or any other “variety” of Lesbian, we are ALL normal. There’s no “right way” nor “wrong way” to be a Lesbian/female and to assume/say that Dirt is ANY sort of “transman” is not only completely wrong, it’s also erasing Lesbian reality.

And: I am not “leading Dirt into ruin” (LOL!), and I couldn’t even if I tried, because Dirt is a fully functioning adult who is capable of forming her own thoughts and making her own decisions. Healthy adult relationships simply don’t involve anyone being “led into ruin”.

Quote:

“Like it seems like maybe Dirt was on their way toward something else and Mrs. Dirt decided to play some psychological games and abuse what little education it seems she has received. Also, Mrs. Dirt claims to be a psychologist as of at least July 22nd of this year, but some say she hasn’t graduated yet. Is that legal? Also, shouldn’t she get reported to any kind of licensing agency for going against the DSM so recklessly? She is causing real harm to the treatment of others with her behaviour. She’s like an anti-vaxxer in the middle of an outbreak. Seems professionally unethical and intentionally harmful.”

My Response:

“What little education” I have had is a Ph.D., cupcake.  I don’t know who is claiming I haven’t graduated yet, but clearly they don’t know what they are talking about. They are making themselves look ignorant by making false claims.

Furthermore, my having an opinion and voicing it is in no way unethical/harmful.

Professionals and researchers disagree and debate civilly all the time about many topics, and we should. Healthy and respectful debate is a vital part of the checks and balances system for any profession.

Once again for the slow learners: I have NOT said or done anything unethical and/or harmful, nor would I ever, and for this individual to imply that I did/would is flat-out libelous.

Furthermore, if this individual and others are so convinced of the absolute correctness of their dogma, why are they so terribly threatened by any questioning/disagreement whatsoever?

Think about it: People who are completely secure in their views/beliefs/choices are not so desperately threatened by questioning/disagreement that they resort to making baseless accusations and posting asinine insults. So the fact that this person did so tells us all we need to know.

The Difference Between Passive-Aggressive and Just Plain Aggressive

Recently, a commenter has been trolling my sweetie Dirt‘s blog, seemingly for the sole purpose of making condescending and/or argumentative comments.

When I said something directly to this individual, she responded by saying I was “passive-aggressive” (here is a small sampling of our interaction, you can see the whole thing at the link):

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Not only is it annoying that this individual thinks that I am the passive-aggressive one, but, more importantly, it is incorrect.

Responding directly is not passive-aggressive…no, I was just plain aggressive:Image 1

Heads-up: When you troll my wife’s (or my) blog and, instead of trying to have an actual discussion of the topic, you decide instead to make snarky, rude, hostile, argumentative, hetsplaining, homophobic, and/or petty comments, don’t be surprised when I (or Dirt) get aggressive. NOT passive-aggressive….no, just plain aggressive.

I’m not going to indirectly communicate with such a person, I am going to tell that person very directly what I think (AKA I behave as a Lesbian).  And, in this particular case, I believe that this person is intentionally being a dick, so I responded in the same tone as the commenter.

I used to try to reason with rude people like that; I used to remain polite…but no more. If someone wants to have an honest, polite conversation, fine…but if the sole goal seems to be to insult either Dirt or me, then the gloves are off.

If you’re going to accuse me of something, at least get it right. Was I being condescending to this person in my replies?  For sure. Was I rude? Oh, heck yeah. But was I passive-aggressive? Nope. It pays to learn the difference.

Lesbians Are Different

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#PicsArt #FreeToEdit

Ever since my partner, spouse, and all-around sweetie-pie, Dirt, wrote a post entitled “Lesbian Children Are Not Girls: How Hetero-Society Ignores Lesbians“, she has received lots of feedback both publicly and privately: positive feedback from Lesbians and argumentative comments from hetsplainers.

One hetsplaining commenter in particular persists in insisting that any differences between the sexes, and/or differences between Lesbians and heterosexual females, is simply a matter of “socialization” and “gender stereotyping”.

While socialization and stereotyping are indeed real, they are not solely responsible for, nor do they sufficiently explain, the differences between Lesbians and heterosexual females that Dirt is writing about.

The other tactic the hetsplainers like to use is the “exception to the rule” argument. They will completely ignore most the information presented and go straight to the argument that they and/or someone they know don’t fit into what Dirt is saying in one way or another.

It should go without saying (but it obviously has to be said anyway!), that, when speaking in generalities about any topic, of course, there will always be “exceptions to the rule”. These expected exceptions to the rule, however, do not disprove the rule, and using this tactic as an argument is simply a way to try to minimize or deny what someone is saying.

My point is that (as usual!) heterosexuals are responding  to Lesbians by arguing, minimizing, and denying what we are saying (in this case, about our own existence!), rather than realizing that they do not know what the heck they are talking about, and therefore shutting up long enough to listen and learn.

Dirt’s posts (a 3-part series, here is part 2) will cover the topic of how Lesbians and straight females differ in depth, but I also wanted to write briefly about it.

When I wrote the guest post entitled “A Lesbian Psychologist Speaks Out“, I touched very briefly on this division between Lesbians and heterosexual females:

“Even though I am a so-called ‘feminine-presenting’ lesbian myself, there are still significant differences in how I process and approach the world in comparison to my heterosexual cohorts…

Because lesbians often don’t see others like ourselves in the world around us, we often feel we are different than other females.”

This difference is something that is difficult to fully understand, much less articulate clearly. However, despite struggling to put it into words, feeling “different” from an early age is something that every Lesbian I have ever spoken to (or read about) consistently reports.

I wanted to give a brief summary of a just a few of the ways in which I personally have perceived myself as “different” from my straight friends, acquaintances, and coworkers:

  • I am/was neither flattered by, nor bothered by, males. (Note that I am not talking about stalkers, perverts, rapists, or otherwise abusive males…everybody should be bothered by them! Rather, I am referring to “regular” males encountered on an everyday basis ~ fellow students, coworkers, neighbors, etc.).
  • I didn’t “lose myself” when adolescence hit, unlike my straight friends and fellow students (and most heterosexual adolescent girls!), who were suddenly (and overwhelmingly!) more interested in boys than in anything else. Grades, hobbies, interests, friends, family, pets, etc. are suddenly yesterday’s news for many straight female adolescents.
  • Even though I was already aware that I was a Lesbian as an adolescent, I didn’t go “girl crazy” like my cohorts went “boy crazy”. Even when I met my first partner at age 17, I still made A’s in college, worked 2 jobs, volunteered, worked out, and still maintained my friendships and family relationships. My world didn’t simply stop to revolve around my romantic relationship; yet, time and time again, I have seen (otherwise intelligent) straight females seemingly sucked straight into a black hole
  • As Dirt said in her post, “Lesbian children are not culturally groomed to have our bodies change (develop) for the purpose of pleasing other (teen/adult) Lesbians as/when we mature.” Most heterosexual parents are not even aware they are doing it, but girls are groomed and reinforced from a young age to welcome sexual maturity and the heterosexual assumption/privilege that goes along with it. Girls are reinforced for physically attractiveness (“You’re such a pretty girl! You’re going to break lots of boys’ hearts one day!” and similar comments). Therefore heterosexual girls are often proud of the new curves that appear in adolescence. In contrast, I was extremely uncomfortable about the changes in my body at adolescence, and made every effort to cover up (still do!). Instead of welcoming the sudden attention I got for my looks, I dreaded it. (Although I did not have true dysphoria myself, I can easily understand how many young Lesbians might mistake such acute bodily discomfort for dysphoria).
  • Because I am not straight (therefore, I am an outsider), I could/can usually see clearly what’s going on (and what is going to happen) in my straight friends’ love lives, to the point where many have said I am “psychic”. Being on the outside allows me to view heterosexual relationships/culture/behavior with detachment, and makes me typically able to observe and understand male behavior more clearly than my straight female friends.
  • I didn’t/don’t understand the hints, innuendos, and vague language often used by my straight female cohorts. I didn’t/don’t understand the desire to speak indirectly rather than simply stating what is wanted or needed. For example, if you want something specific for your birthday, why not just say so, rather than assuming your partner “should” magically know (and then being disappointed when you don’t get what you want)?  I don’t understand it; I never will. But my straight friends say they find such directness “inappropriate” (or unimaginable!). (Note that I am not referring to “good/bad manners” here, but rather simply directness versus indirectness of communication).
  • It wouldn’t have occurred to me to break plans with a friend because I suddenly got a date, yet doing so seems to be often both accepted and expected amongst straight female friends.
  • As a child, adolescent, and adult, I have never completely “fit in” with straight people, male or female, although I get along well with both. I have personality characteristics that are considered to be “stereotypically female” as well as personality characteristics that are considered to be “stereotypically male”. It’s like I live in a middle world, which is separate from both, but also like both, in various ways. Thus, Dirt’s assertion that “Lesbians are not girls”.
  • When I comment online, either anonymously or using a gender-neutral username, I am often accused of “mansplaining”. Straight females often seem to mistake directness for male behavior. No, it’s Lesbian behavior!

These are just a few examples. Of course, every Lesbian’s experience is unique, and I am not speaking for all (nor do I want to).  (Similarly, every straight woman’s experience is unique as well, and, as I said above, of course, there are always exceptions).

I will say, though, that I have heard of numerous similar experiences in the stories of Lesbians. Enough to ascertain that there is indeed a definite pattern of difference between Lesbians and straight females. And all the hetsplainers in the universe cannot explain away this truth.

Darkness

Trump won. Oh my God…this is not just a nightmare.

The disappointment and dismay I feel about this is so huge that words fail me at the moment to describe my thoughts and feelings.

However, there is something going on that I noticed today that I feel the need to address:

All over social media, I keep seeing “be positive!” and “unity now!” and “let’s just all get along!” type posts and comments, and quite frankly, they are dismissive, inappropriate, and annoying.

We have the right to feel the way we feel — disillusioned, disappointed, angry, betrayed, sickened.

Women/Lesbians do NOT have to “Be nice” and “get along”.

It okay to feel the darkness that this election has cast over the nation; being surrounded by darkness is a very real thing today for myself and many others.


We don’t have to be relentlessly positive. In fact, we shouldn’t be, because it would be dishonest to our own deeply held convictions.

Bottom line: The truth hurts sometimes…especially today.

If you truly care about us, you will accept the fact that our feelings and fears are valid, and stop trying to sweep this travesty under the rug.

You will stand with us in our pain, rather than encouraging us to make YOU more comfortable.

If you cannot do that, then please kindly fuck the fuck off.

A False Sense Of Well-Being

There has been a nebulous feeling fluttering at the edges of my consciousness lately, something that I haven’t been able to put into words until now. This bewildering feeling has nagged me every time I log into Twitter; it is a vague sense of apprehension, a certain wariness that I wasn’t even fully aware of until very recently.

For one thing, I have been super-busy lately, so I haven’t had much time to contemplate my thoughts and feelings (thank goodness for an Election Day holiday today!). For another thing, I have been sick, several times in a row now, so what little energy I’ve had has been focused on getting well.

Dirt and I recently wrote Portraits of a Straightbian and writing that started to bring this ill-defined feeling I was having into a clearer focus.  But it wasn’t until we published that post that a bigger picture was revealed to me; sort of like when I first wake up in the morning and I can only see the blurry outlines of shapes, but then I put my glasses on and BOOM! I can see.

The clarity happened when joannadeadwinter and Mint Leaf, both commenting on Portraits of a Straightbian, articulated precisely what had been nagging at me, finally bringing the actual underlying issues to the forefront of my consciousness ~ please see the “Comments” section of that post for details.

So, in essence, here is a basic list of some of what has been nagging at me:

Lesbians, in our eagerness to support our straight feminist “sisters”, often willingly jump on their bandwagons and spend our precious time and energy fighting for causes that do NOT directly affect Lesbians (abortion; male domestic violence; etc.).

In fact, Lesbians spend so much of our precious time and energy supporting Straight feminist causes that we fail to notice that it is not reciprocal; Lesbian-only issues are typically ignored and we are often too depleted from fighting other people’s battles that we have nothing left over for our own battles.

When Lesbians speak out against this omission of our needs, or about other issues affecting Lesbians only, we are typically ignored, muted, blocked, mocked, minimized, and/or outright excluded by the very people we mistakenly thought were our “allies”.

Furthermore, Lesbian solidarity with our straight feminist “sisters” allows Straightbians a wide open door into Lesbian space and lives, often with devastating consequences for Lesbians. As Mint Leaf said so well in one of her comments: I think lesbians believing that they share fundamental values and a worldview with feminist Straightbians is actually a common way for these damaging relationships to get started. It’s not hard to confuse being really passionate on behalf of women’s rights with being passionate for women themselves.”

A lot of radical feminist rhetoric is actually shockingly anti-lesbian; for instance, the common phrase used about “eschewing femininity” is not only inaccurate, fake, and ridiculous (as joannadeadwinter‘s comment said: “…when you go out of your way to avoid anything that might be considered feminine…that’s an act.”)…but even more importantly, it is also deeply misogynistic, because it displays an underlying disrespect for so-called “feminine” women, and reinforces the patriarchal idea that the so-called “masculine” is preferable. As joannadeadwinter said: It reinforces men as the default human, which is supposedly what rad fems are trying to oppose.”

There are a LOT of mistaken assumptions and underlying straight privilege that leads to often-seemingly-subtle lesbophobia among straight feminists, something that I have been noticing for some time while trying to put my finger on exactly what was bothering me. Mint Leaf summed the main issues up excellently in her comment: “The really upsetting part is the underlying assumptions which fuel all of this: that heterosexuality is a relentless shitstorm for women, chosen out of social pressure; that lesbians are fortunate to escape men, and lead some sort of charmed, misogyny-free existence; and thus, that it’s a positive ‘lifestyle choice’ for straight feminists to become lesbians.”

I will likely think of more issues later, but those are the basic points that are at the forefront of my mind at the moment.

The underlying lesbophobia that exists underneath the shiny surface of “sisterhood” is illustrated well by something that recently happened to me:

After doing a guest post, I was initially included by some straight feminist “allies” in conversations and in the possibility of future projects together. It seemed like a good opportunity to bridge the gap between lesbian and straight feminist interests, and I was excited about being a part of a group of (what I thought were) like-minded individuals.

However, when Dirt spoke out against a particular straight woman who is associated with them…someone who has publicly admitted to having previously called herself a Lesbian and to having gained attention for it, by the way…I very quickly found out where I stood with these individuals who I had mistaken as “allies“.

I was blocked immediately by the majority of these straight feminist “allies“, without any conversation…I was excluded from their clique more quickly than you could say “Adios, Lesbo!”

I was immediately and firmly (though very politely) informed by the one (one!!!) individual who would even still speak to me that it would be better if we parted ways.

Would they have excluded a straight woman for something her husband did?  I don’t know…but I highly doubt it.

And, the thing is, I agree that it is actually better that we parted ways. Better for them to rid themselves of the pesky Lesbians with our Inconvenient Truth(s), and better for me to have seen clearly that the initial excitement at being included was really just an illusion, much like the warning on some medications:

A false sense of well-being.

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Because that is what happens to Lesbians…all the time.  We are often lulled into a false sense of well-being by various people who we mistakenly think are on our side, but when the high wears off, as all highs inevitably will, that false sense of well-being is replaced by the dull ache of cold, stark realization that we were always outsiders.

The major lesson here is it is up to Lesbians. It is up to us to fight for our own rights; speak out about our own issues. We are on our own, as we really always were…but that is okay, because we are stronger than we have given ourselves credit for. We don’t need others’ approval, friendship, or help.  We just need to stop diverting our valuable attention and resources and begin ALWAYS putting ourselves and our LESBIAN sisters first.

Lesbian Truth

Since Dirt and I first started writing about the havoc that has been wreaked upon the lesbian community by Straightbians of all varieties and speaking out about the multitude of alleged “lesbian experts” who are neither lesbian nor expert, the resistance (and sometimes outright hostility) to what we are saying has been appalling.

We have both been unfollowed/blocked by numerous lesbians/feminists (or, I should say: allegedlesbians“/”feminists“) on Twitter, which has prompted me to rethink my own previous position about blocking. We have both received numerous nasty comments and emails (most of which were deleted promptly). We have been subtweeted about relentlessly, because, apparently, some people want to gripe about us, but don’t have the nerve, or the courtesy, to address us directly.

We expected some disagreement, of course. After all, everyone has been spoon-fed lies about lesbianism for decades, and suddenly Dirt and I come along and call it out for what it is: complete and utter horse manure. So we naturally expected some disgruntlement, perhaps even some anger, but the histrionic reaction we have received is as over-the-top emotional that it is as if we told a bunch of preschoolers that Santa had been killed in a tragic mishap at the toy factory.

Why?  I have been thinking about it a lot, and I think there are multiple reasons for this backlash. In fact, there are likely even more reasons I have not even thought of yet. But after much consideration, I think that there are 3 primary reasons that we have received so much hatred and anger:

1). People are highly invested in the erroneous myth that “any woman can become a lesbian”.

For straight women, this myth is a back-up plan if things go wrong with men.  The myth is a way to feel special by asserting their straight privilege upon lesbians. This myth is an all-purpose fantasy of a sort of all-female Amazonian utopia, (purportedly) free from the damaging effects of patriarchy.

Re: Lesbians, this myth allows lesbians to falsely believe that the Straightbian we have fallen in love with (or the one we have a crush on) could truly fall in love with us. It increases our dating pool. The myth allows lesbians to feel inclusive, welcoming, and supportive of our straight sisters. Lesbians get approval and attention from straight women for buying into this myth; by perpetuating the falsehood that we all can live in an all-inclusive “lesbian“-lala-land.  Lesbians therefore often choose to ignore the obvious fact that sexual orientation is fixed in order to bolster straight women’s egos and fantasies.

Straight men love the thought of sexuality being “fluid”, because…HELLO!  Hopes of a threesome!  And although I don’t give a flying f**k about what straight men think, I mention this factor to illustrate one of the many reasons that this myth is so harmful to lesbians…because it implies that orientation is simply a choice. To incorrectly imply straight women can magically become lesbians also implies that being a lesbian is a choice, when the truth is that orientation is not changeable. Period.

2). Plenty of Straightbians have become famous and made fortunes/names for themselves by appropriating “lesbian” with their straight-privileged nonsense. Many others, who have perhaps not become as famous/rich as those profiled in our series, have nevertheless carved out “lesbian” niches for themselves, particularly on the internet, and they don’t want us spoiling their fun-and-games with simple facts.

3).  Finally, and related to the points above, I think a major reason that the myth that “any woman can be a lesbian” has flourished is simple: straight privilege and lesbians not being privileged enough to see it happening nor to stop it from happening.

Real lesbians everywhere have been too busy living our own lives to see ~ or understand ~ the travesties perpetuated by Straightbians unfolding around us: we were too busy coming out, dealing with the fallout of coming out, working, going to school, falling in love, breaking up, having potluck dinners, going to the movies, marching in dyke marches, playing Scrabble, buying houses, selling houses, living, dying.

Sure, lesbians saw our friends, and sometimes even ourselves, getting hurt by Straightbians on an individual level, but we didn’t fully understand that  lesbians as a whole were systematically being bulldozed by harmful myths and “queer” (ugh!!) theory while we were busy barbecuing on the back porch on sultry summer nights.

When Straightbians, with their straight privilege, barged into our lesbian movie nights, we didn’t feel comfortable telling them that almost every movie ever made has been for straight people and that they needed to get their own damn movie night.

When Straightbians took over our women’s groups and tried to tell us what “Lesbian” means, we felt we had to be polite and listen to our feminist sisters.

While Straightbians of differing camps engaged in inappropriately-named “lesbian sex wars“, fighting over what lesbians “should”, or “shouldn’t”, do in bed, real lesbians were too busy actually having sex.

In other words, while non-lesbians have been hard at work defining us, lesbians have been busy…being lesbians.

As I have said many times before, the definition of lesbian is actually very simple: we are females who are solely oriented toward other females.  Be very wary of anybody who tries to make Lesbian theoretical or otherwise complicated.  Lesbians don’t need a handbook. Lesbians don’t need academics with their complicated and long-winded jargon defining us. Lesbian don’t need Straightbians, or anybody else, telling us how to have sex nor how to live our lives.

What lesbians need is to stand up against all the horseshit about us that has been spread all around like fertilizer, which has allowed Straightbians to flourish. Lesbians need to start calling non-lesbians out for speaking for and about us. Lesbians need to speak out for and about ourselves.  Lesbians need to keep asserting, and demonstrating, that lesbian is normal.

In short, after decades of lies about us, lesbians need truth. Bottom line: if you’re not completely with us in that quest, you’re against us.
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