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Once A Straightbian…Always A Problem

I had an unsettling experience on Facebook last night that sadly, but clearly, reinforced my sweetie Dirt‘s motto that “If you aren’t us, you’re against us“.

Without identifying anyone, here is a brief summary of the debacle that unfolded:

One of my Facebook friends posted an article/comment about how conversion therapy is horrible.

So far, so good, right? Right.

That is, until one of her Facebook friends, who I don’t know (and who I certainly don’t want to know!), decided to put her 2-cents in.

Although I don’t know this individual, I do know her type…all-too-well.

Straightbian!

Except in this particular case, this individual asshole has now eschewed her Straightbian ways (of harming Lesbian lives) to become a born-again, holy-rollin’, bible-thumpin’, holier-than-thou, know-it-all, married-to-an-man, “Christian” (still harming Lesbian lives).

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

I purposefully did not screencap the conversation, out of respect for my Facebook friend.

And I’ve honestly tried to just let it go, but the truth is: this incident has been bothering me ever since it happened.

What, exactly, was so upsetting? It took me a while to put my finger on it, but I think I finally have now.

It wasn’t that this boneheaded bozo believes that conversion therapy is possible/desirable, nor that she thinks that being a Lesbian is somehow related to porn (huh??),  nor that she incorrectly thinks sexuality is fluid, nor that she thinks all Lesbians will burn in eternal Hell. (Although it is indeed upsetting that anyone could be that asinine).

After all, what would I expect from a Straightbian-Special-Snowflake-Type-Turned-Religious-Proselytizer? Complete and utter nonsense, that’s what. Consider the source.

This inanity is just one of this fool’s anti-Gay/Lesbian FB posts:Image 3

In another FB post, our DICKgusting debutante referred to Lesbian relationships as “broken people” having “aberrant sex”. There are not enough words in the English language to describe my feelings toward this person for saying that, but “disdain”, “contempt”, and “hatred” seem like a good start.

Bitch

No, it wasn’t the fact that this evil assclown spouts her offensive and uninformed opinions.

(Just so there’s no confusion, here’s a sample of what is wrong with her assumptions: There’s no such thing as being “lesbian-identified” because you either are or you are not; there’s no such thing as “fluidity of attraction”; Lesbians are not “broken” nor do we “need healing”; our love is NOT “aberrant sex”; and furthermore, BEING A LESBIAN IS NOT A F**KING CHOICE, YOU DIMWITTED BUFFOON).

Instead: What upset me then, and still upsets me now, is that my friend would even be remotely friendly, much less be friends, with someone like this nincompoop.

What upsets me is that, instead of telling this dickweed to take a proverbial long walk off a short pier, my friend actually seemed worried about me and Dirt offending this piece-of-shit Straightbian’s delicate “Christian” sensibilities.

(Guess it’s okay for Straightbian-Sally to insult us, though, and even deny our very existence).

What upsets me is finding out that my friend “liked” the FB post where Lesbian lives were referred to “broken people” having “aberrant sex”. To add insult to injury, the article linked in that post was shocking right-wing anti-Lesbian propaganda.

There’s nothing to “like” about that post. Or that person.

Once again, I (re)learned the lesson that Lesbians are on our own.

Maybe, just maybe, I will remember it this time.

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.

Homophobic Threats? Bring It On

Check out this lovely (not!) tweet (which was in reply to Dirt’s tweet about a ridiculous comment she received via the Contact Form regarding her recent post, How Lesbian Became The Vehicle For Radical Feminist Anger):

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(The Jolly Green Tweeter promptly deleted this tweet, likely because she belatedly realized that she had made herself appear to be a few fries short of a Happy Meal, but we easily recovered it, thanks to the magic of technology).

Here is the eloquent, scintillating (hahaha!) comment to which she refers:

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Examples like both of these prove the very points that Dirt and I are making:

Not only are heterosexual (alleged) “feminists” often not willing to listen to Lesbians speaking frankly about OUR OWN EXPERIENCE; but they are also frequently outright hostile and terribly homophobic in their responses.

See Dirt’s post about the same topic, here.

I have just a couple of things to say to this green-faced shrew (and anyone else like her):

1). Thanks for proving our points for us, cupcake(s).

2). If you think that threatening my wife (or myself) is a good idea, BRING IT ON.  We’ll see what happens. Spoiler alert: You will wish you hadn’t.

3). Keep on commenting, folks; because, with every wannabe insult, you are showing your true hateful, homophobic colors and Lesbians who mistakenly think you are our allies will eventually see the light.

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.

Why I Use A Pseudonym. (Not That It Is Anyone’s Business).

UPDATE: “Mary Sue” has a gargantuan bug up her butt and just published my real name on Twitter, (purportedly) because I allegedly “invade the privacy” of others.

If that is her real issue with me, I’m not sure who she thinks I have doxxed, because I have only used the public and already-well-known names/information of everybody I have written about…but logic, sanity, and ethics are apparently optional for “Mary Sue”:

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Huh? 

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Because I bet her real name is “Mary Sue” or “realbaddeeds”. Um…NOT!

Original Post:

I really shouldn’t have to answer the question of why I use a pseudonym, because,  quite frankly, it is nobody’s business.

Plus, I have already addressed this issue several times…here is just one such example:image-7

However, since a very annoying cockroach** who is trying to play Miss Marple in a boneheaded attempt to “out” my legal name, I’m doing this post to address this issue directly.

(**Note: I think it is one known individual with multiple accounts who is attempting to shit-stir, but of course, it’s also possible that it may be a whole roach motel involved. Whatever the case, the following points will apply regardless).

Here is the latest example of this ongoing nonsense. A brand-new “egg” account with no followers, no previous tweets, and not following anyone just randomly decides to bust my chops as their first tweet??  Hmmmm, that seems rather doubtful, but let’s take a look:

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Poor “Mary Sue”.  Bless her heart.

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Hahahaha! Did “Mary Sue” really think this was plausible?

Here are my comments to this sort of fishing expedition, listed in no particular order:

1). I have always been open that neither Saye Bennett nor Mrs. Dirt is my real name. This fact has been mentioned numerous times here, on Dirt’s blog, and on Twitter. This information is even in my bio both here and on Twitter. Not a secret, Sherlock.

2). My real first name is Anna. As with #1, this information has been mentioned many times in multiple places.

3). By far, the main reason I write using an alias is to feel like I have the freedom to say whatever I want, in any way I want. I want to be able to talk about sex. I want to be able to be non-politically-correct. I want to be able to curse. I want to be able to talk about events in my life (using aliases for everyone involved, of course) without embarrassing and/or identifying anyone else.

4). Using a pseudonym for writing has been a very common practice for a very long time. It is not nefarious, new, surprising, or mysterious.

5). There are many legitimate and smart reasons (in addition to my primary reasons, listed above) that any woman might choose to not use her real name online. The most obvious reasons are: safety and privacy.  (Um…duh!!!).

6). Anyone who claims to love and respect women would understand — without explanation — why privacy and safety are important, and therefore, that person would refrain from perpetual attempts to publicly identify me or any other woman who chooses to write anonymously. Since this individual (or group?) persists in such activity, by definition, there is no true love or respect for women present.

7). Brazenly using your own name publicly and constantly posting publicly where you are at all times may seem brave, but in reality, it is very risky. To anyone who wants to reveal my identity: Please feel free to take those risks yourself, but don’t be presumptuous/arrogant enough to risk anyone else’s safety in your misguided and twisted quest.

8). I happily reveal my full name to anyone who needs to know it, including, for example, employers, licensure/certification entities, etc. I also reveal my real name to anyone I CHOOSE to tell. “Everybody on the internet” and “annoying butt-hurt person trying to cause trouble” are examples which obviously do NOT meet my criteria.

9). Rudely confronting someone out of the blue in an attempt to “jar” or “disquiet” her is never a smart approach. In fact, doing so is as transparent as it is stalker-like, disturbed, deranged, and quite frankly, pathological.

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Creepy much?

In summary, I don’t intend to have this conversation again. Such ploys in the future will either be completely ignored, blocked, or sent the link to this post. Life is too short to deal with unwarranted, unwelcome, and senseless drama. 

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I would say it’s been nice, but I would be lying.

Social Media: The New Playground For Pyros-When Gaslighting Goes Viral

 

Have you ever had a friend, partner, family member, coworker, or even an acquaintance do/say something stunningly mean, but when confronted about it, the person suddenly completely denies, minimizes, redirects, distracts, deletes the evidence, calls you a liar, tries to make you feel like you are “crazy”, and/or otherwise attempts to invalidate your perfectly legitimate outrage?

If so, welcome to the dark, twisted, manipulative, maddening, bizarre world of gaslighting.

The effects of being gaslighted can range the gamut from simple, but utter, puzzlement if it is a unexpected situation by a Twitter acquaintance all the way to devastating, destabilizing self-doubt if it is done on an ongoing basis by a loved one.

The term gaslighting was named for the 1944 Ingrid Bergman/Charles Boyer movie, Gaslight, in which a diabolical man manipulates his wife into doubting her own sanity.

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The term now is used to refer to an insiduous form of psychological manipulation in which the gaslighter attempts to confuse and disorient by twisting facts and clouding reality.

As evidenced by the movie, gaslighters have been around since the “good old days”, but now social media has exponentially increased their visibility and reach, allowing gaslighting to even happen on a hit-and-run basis from internet acquaintances.

Gaslighting examples might include:

**Your partner makes a derogatory comment about you while you are present. When you confront her about it, she denies that it ever happened, says you misunderstood, says you are always “too sensitive”, and/or blames you for the situation. As a result, you begin to doubt your own perception, and you may even end up apologizing when there is nothing to apologize for.

**You can never do anything right, according to your mother. She belittles your weight, your hair, your clothes, your books, your choice of career or partner, even the color of your shoes. When you tell her how a specific demeaning comment makes you feel, she denies ever saying anything of the sort (even though you heard her say it yourself). She starts crying, saying that you are ungrateful and selfish and always “misunderstand”.  You end up feeling guilty that you could have possibly blamed your poor little old mother and vow to keep your mouth shut next time.

**A Twitter acquaintance suddenly attacks you (or an ally)…seemingly out-of-the-blue. Horrid name-calling and complete rudeness ensues from the gaslighter. When confronted, however, the gaslighter vehemently (and very treacly-sweetly) denies ever saying anything nasty at all, and, in the meantime, the gaslighter has deleted all of the offending tweets. The gaslighter then garners sympathy from unwitting outsiders (who never saw the offending deleted tweets) by saying: 1). that you are inexplicably lying about her; 2). that she would never-ever-EVER do such a thing, because she is such a nice person and everyone should know that; and 3). that she often deletes her tweets (although you can’t help but notice that she did not delete any of her tweets…except for the ones in which she looks bad).

**Your best friend flirts in an obvious and inappropriate manner with your partner. When you confront her about it, she says that you imagined it, that you are always so unreasonable and possessive, and that you are always so insecure and needy. You end up apologizing for the “misunderstanding” because, after all, you tell yourself, friends are forever. Right? (Then why do you feel like you just got run over by a Mack truck)?

This kind of dynamic can play out in endless scenarios; the above examples are just a few of the possibilities.

Regardless of the players or the topic, however, the underlying factors are always the same and involve some or all of the following:

1). The gaslighter will not take responsibility for her own actions nor admit any fault.

2). Instead of taking responsibility for her own actions, the gaslighter manipulates the gaslightee and the situation in order to destabilize the gaslightee’s sense of reality and to twist the facts.

3). Gaslighting techniques might include (but are not limited to) denying, minimizing, lying, insulting, demeaning, destroying evidence, twisting facts, bringing others in for support, and/or manipulating people, the situation, and/or the physical environment to support their contorted version of events.

4). The end result is typically the gaslightee feeling guilty, bad, confused, self-doubting, and/or unsettled. The gaslightee often questions herself and her perceptions of events. The gaslightee will often end up apologizing, even when she did nothing wrong. The gaslightee’s feelings after such an incident are somewhat akin to a bad hangover, although much more long-lasting and damaging.

5). Often, others who are naive to gaslighting tactics will jump on the bandwagon in support of the gaslighter, rather than understanding that they are only pawns in an intricate game of deception. Some may be intentionally brought into the situation by the gaslighter, for the dual purposes of gaining support as well as to further make the gaslightee doubt her own perceptions.

6). Gaslighters are typically charming and well-liked by acquaintances and the general public who have not had the misfortune of being their target, yet. They are usually articulate and friendly to strangers/acquaintances, which also helps them succeed in looking credible and gaining support, contributing further to the gaslightee questioning herself.

So, what can you do when faced with gaslighting? Here are a few suggestions:

1). Read The Gaslight Effect by Robin Stern, Ph.D. (and read it immediately if you are in a romantic relationship where gaslighting is happening). Dr. Stern’s book thoroughly covers the topic and gives many practical and insightful suggestions. As Dr. Stern says here in regard to the gaslight effect in long-term relationships:

“Gaslighting is the systematic attempt by one person to erode another’s reality, by telling them that what they are experiencing isn’t so – and, the gradual giving up on the part of the other person. Gaslighting takes two – one person who needs to be in control to maintain his sense of self, and the other, who needs the relationship to maintain her sense of self and is willing to acquiesce. The Gaslight Effect happens when you find yourself second guessing your own reality, confused and uncertain of what you think, because you have allowed another to define reality and tell you what you think — and who you are. Gaslighting can be maddening in the early stages and soul destroying when it fully takes hold.”

2). Trust your own intuition and observations. If you have seen something with your own eyes or heard it with your own ears, and someone is telling you that you are wrong, realize that you are not the “crazy” one in this situation.

3). State your truth, then disengage from the gaslighter as quickly as possible. You aren’t going to “win” a battle with a gaslighter, because she will never admit she is wrong nor acknowledge your legitimate concerns. Stick up for yourself, assertively but briefly, then move on.

4). Be aware of this behavior, so you will know how to recognize it quickly in the future and act before becoming close to a gaslighter.

5). If you see this behavior in someone you do not HAVE to interact with, avoid that person at all costs, no matter how “sweet” and “friendly” she may seem. A good analogy is a cobra in a bunny suit; the bunny suit looks fluffy and happy and safe, but make no mistake, the cobra inside is coiled and waiting to strike.

6). If you see the behavior in someone who you do currently still have to interact with, stay on guard. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of well-being.

7). Keep a private journal in a safe place, and/or talk to a trusted friend or therapist, in order to maintain your own sense of reality and self-esteem. Write down exactly what happens, as specifically and in as much details as possible. Refer back to your notes frequently. Look for patterns of behavior.

8). If the altercation occurs via email, letter, or online, consider keeping physical evidence of the event ~ for your own sense of reality ~ not as a way to argue or engage with the gaslighter. (Keep the email or letter, or screencap the nastiness if it happens on social media, and email yourself a copy).

9). Minimize your contact with the gaslighter, and keep interactions neutral whenever possible.

10). Consider your part in the interactions. As Dr. Stern says, it takes two to engage in the dance of gaslighting. If there are ways you can protect yourself or change the outcome of feeling disempowered, do so.

11). Seek mental health or legal or other professional advice if needed (please see **Notes**, below).

12). Above all, take care of yourself and don’t let anyone’s manipulations crush your sense of self or confuse your sense of reality.

In summary, I wanted to bring up a well-known Maya Angelou quote:

“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”

When you see serious gaslighting behavior, please don’t just write it off as “a fluke” or excuse it by saying “She was just having a bad day”.

Of course, everyone can be grumpy and say things we don’t mean, but the critical difference to consider is that most people are capable of analyzing our own actions, taking responsibility, respecting the other person’s feelings, apologizing when necessary, and learning important lessons when altercations happen.

Note that a gaslighter does none of these healthy behaviors, but rather, a gaslighter makes the situation even worse by engaging in the gaslighting behaviors listed above.

You cannot get blood from a turnip, and you cannot get reason nor empathy from a gaslighter.

So, when a gaslighter shows you who she is…please believe her…the first time.

**Notes**:

1). I am using “she” for this post for simplicity’s sake, but please note that gaslighters and gaslightees can either be male or female.

2). As always, please be aware of this standard disclaimer: Nothing I write is ever intended to be professional advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for the advice of a professional. Please take appropriate precautions, and always seek professional help regarding any/all mental health issues/needs.

Lesbians Are On Our Own

I have written before about homophobia and false allies.  I have been out for a very long time and have had many disappointing experiences and have answered many offensive questions about being a Lesbian.

So: I know how people are.

Or, more accurately, I should have known.

But: every day, I find myself more disappointed and more disillusioned with my fellow humans than ever before.

The election and its aftermath have stripped off the remnants of faux acceptance from our so-called “friends” and “family“, revealing a massive gangrenous sore which had been festering,  unnoticed, underneath the surface all along:

Lesbians have no true allies. We are on our own.

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#PicsArt #FreeToEdit

My spouse, partner, and all-around sweetiepie, Dirt, recently changed her Twitter bio to say: “If you’re not us, you’re against us.”

Meaning: Unless you are actually one of us ~ a LESBIAN ~ you are against us.  I misread it the first time, thinking it said: “If you’re not WITH us, you’re against us”. But she clarified that she meant that unless you ARE one of us, you are AGAINST us.

At first, I thought, “Wow, that is really cynical, because surely we do have some allies…well…somewheretheoretically“.

You see, I wanted to believe that we have allies. And, pitifully, I still want to believe that we have allies: perhaps because I am still a four-leaf-clover-picking, peace-loving optimist underneath my current defiant exterior; perhaps because it would be easier and more pleasant to stay in denial about those who we mistakenly thought were our loved ones; perhaps simply because the truth hurts.

Sadly, however, I am now convinced that Lesbians are, in fact, on our own. More importantly, I am now convinced we always were on our own…because the appearance of support and acceptance from our alleged “allies“, “friends“, and “family” was, in reality, only a BandAid which was unceremoniously ripped off with the election of a bigoted dictator, revealing the repugnant stench of straight privilege and lesbophobia beneath.

Repeated Twitter attacks, hetsplaining, unfollowing/blocking and subtweeting by so-called straight feminist “allies“; unfriending and blocking by Facebook “friends“; and being admonished by various alleged former “friends” and “family members” to “calm down”, “be nice”, “don’t take it personally”, “get along” (etc.) have all coalesced in the last few days to irrevocably prove to me that most straight people, even seemingly well-intentioned ones, remain clueless, insensitive, unaware, and arrogant in their ignorance.

Plus: (unrelated to the election, but pertinent to this topic): Some (alleged) “lesbians” on Twitter have continued minimizing, denying, arguing, and/or even outright mocking our series about the existence of Straightbians and how Straightbians are detrimental to Lesbians.

The reasons why the truth matters to Lesbians should be stunningly obvious to anyone with an IQ higher than a Chia Pet, so the attitudes of these individuals indicates that not only are they Straightbians themselves, but furthermore, they are NOT even allies to Lesbians…and they never will be.

They don’t want to listen to Lesbians. They want to believe the false notion that any woman can magically become a lesbian, because their own pathologies are tightly tied to that illusion, and they have gained lovers, friends, attention, followers, fame, speaking engagements, and/or money from perpetuating the lie that they are Lesbians themselves, at the expense of actual Lesbians.

These individuals want to preach feminist theory about “political Lesbianism“, but they don’t want to actually deal with hearing the pesky truth from REAL Lesbians. They appear to be “inclusive” and “accepting” by promoting the untruth that a woman can “magically become a Lesbian”, and therefore, they are popular amongst the “feminist” crowd, because straight women want to keep “Lesbian” open as their backup Uber ride in case the dickmobile runs out of gas.

Furthermore, in addition to all the many traitors listed above, even our supposed “allies” who are purportedly fighting for Lesbian self-acceptance in order to to avert transitioning often show shocking covert lesbophobia. How? First, true Lesbian allies would care what happens to ALL lesbians, not just up until our 18th birthday. Second, the terms “gender non-conforming” and “gender defiant” are offensive terms to Lesbians (**See Note, below**), but despite being told this repeatedly, these purported “allies” continue to use these (and similar) inappropriate terms. Third, some  of these alleged “allies” will respond favorably to straight people’s input, while completely ignoring, or even rudely arguing with, polite Lesbian comments/questions.

Bottom line: True Lesbian allies would listen to Lesbians. They would believe Lesbians. They would fight for Lesbian issues/rights, even when it is inconvenient to do so. They would include Lesbians. They would remain in conversation with Lesbians, even when it becomes heated or uncomfortable.  They would support Lesbians. They would recognize Lesbian is a real thing….not just some choice to be made or discarded at will or whimsy. And: they would stand with Lesbians in our pain and fear about this election, without attempting to tell us how to feel or to “be nice”.

None of these things are happening.

The time for nice is over. The time for hoping that people will do the right thing is over.

It is time for Lesbians to wake up, stand up, and realize that with “friends” like these, who needs enemies? It is apparent that not only was Sappho ahead of her time poetically, it seems that she too realized that Lesbian needs to be its own island.

**Note**:  Edited to add:  After a comment, I realized that I should have clarified further why the terms gender non-conforming (GNC), gender-defiant, and similar terms (hereafter shortened to GNC for brevity) are offensive to Lesbians:

The way these terms are being presented is that the so-called “GNC” people (including the Lesbians who would fall under this description) are intentionally defying gender norms.

In other words, the idea is that GNC is some sort of conscious performance, rather than just being who people are naturally.

For the lesbians who would fall under the GNC category, this is an insult, as well as a dangerous assumption, because it implies a willful disobedience of “norms”, which, in turn, implies that it can be changed with a simple conscious decision to conform.

So the use of these terms is both dangerous and insulting to the Lesbians who are being referred to as falling under those categories.

Hope this clarifies better, and as always, if you have questions, please feel free to ask!