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Why The Truth Matters To Lesbians

The most frequent comments/questions my sweetie Dirt and I have received since we began our quest to expose some of the fake “lesbian experts” who are neither Lesbian nor expert and to call attention to the myriad of ways Straightbians wreak havoc upon Lesbian lives are some variation/combination of the following:

“Why do you care?  Why does it matter? Why can’t you just live and let live? Why are you being mean? Who are you to say who is really a Lesbian? Etc.”

This post will attempt to answer these questions (as well as endless variations of the same theme) by explaining why the truth matters to Lesbian lives…and yes, even to those Lesbians who are asking these questions.

At least on the surface, it initially seemed that it would be obvious why the truth matters to Lesbians (or, at least, why it should matter).

Intuitively, it would seem that everyone would want to know the truth about themselves and their partners, as well as about the so-called “lesbian experts” that have taken it upon themselves to define “Lesbian“.

After all, who would consciously say to a potential love interest: “Please lie to me, because I don’t care who you really are and I don’t care that I am going to get hurt!”?  Who would intentionally pay hard-earned cash to buy a book or to attend a lecture by someone who is an active charlatan peddling false facts?  Who would deliberately follow an alleged “Lesbian expert” on social media if it were known that their “hero” is not really a Lesbian (or an expert)?

What we have learned (and are still figuring out) from the backlash is that there is much more going on underneath the surface than was/is immediately apparent to us.

There is so much resistance to hearing the truth that all women cannot just magically become Lesbians and so much resistance to hearing the truth that the much published and publicized alleged “Lesbian experts” are neither Lesbian nor expert that we need to pause to consider the underlying reasons for this brouhaha.

The primary, and most obvious, issue with facing these truths is denial. It might be that a Lesbian has already fallen in love with a Straightbian, perhaps even invested years of her life with said Straightbian. To admit that it all has been a lie is too painful, so it is much easier to knee-jerk into defensiveness and to lash out at Dirt and me.

From the Straightbian‘s perspective, there are also many reasons to either stay in denial herself (if she is trying to convince herself that she “really is” a Lesbian)…or, if she is self-aware enough to realize on some level that she is a Straightbian, to deflect the attention in order to maintain the ruse. For example, perhaps she has been sexually, emotionally, and/or physically abused by male(s) and is therefore resistant to being with a man, and being a faux “Lesbian” is her safety net, rather than dealing with the real issues.  Perhaps she is getting positive reinforcement for being a fake “Lesbian“: money, attention, security, adoration from a lesbian partner, fame, followers, book readers, lecture attendees, interviews, etc.  Perhaps she is having fun “exploring her sexuality” and feeling like she is “edgy” or a bad-ass rebel. Perhaps she wishes to dominate her relationships and finds it easier to dominate Lesbians than men. Whatever the case (and the situation will vary depending on the reasons she is a Straightbian), there is enough gain for her to continue her behavior — and she doesn’t want us pointing her out as a trespasser, a fraud, and a Nightmare on Lesbo Lane.

One thing that both of us initially underestimated was the sheer amount of Straightbians who have invaded Lesbian lives, both in our everyday social circles and in our collective consciousness. We will write more on this topic later, but, for now, I just want to say that I used to wonder why someone would say she is a Lesbian when she is not.

After all, it is not always easy being a Lesbian. We face many hurdles that straight people do not: potential discrimination in jobs or housing; possible rejection from family, friends, and society; legal struggles;  even the possibility of violence; just to name a few. Lesbian don’t have the straight privilege that heterosexuals blithely enjoy.

So, Dirt and I have both frequently wondered in the past why a woman who is straight would choose to say she is a Lesbian.

Well, the potential reasons vary, as mentioned above and in this post, but a major point I want to make today is that it does, in fact, happen ALL THE TIME ~ for various reasons.

And: most importantly, I want to make the point that because, as Lesbians, we do intimately know the potential problems inherent in coming out and therefore we cannot imagine why someone would falsely claim to be a Lesbian, we, as a group, have had a tendency to automatically believe any woman’s claims of being a “Lesbian“.

Lesbians’ own good-hearted, but ultimately naive, suspension of disbelief has had the chilling effect of leaving our metaphorical windows open for intruders to easily enter and to rape, rob, and rapine whatever they want from right under our trusting noses, including the very definition of our existence.

This harsh truth is difficult to face, but it is necessary for us as a community to start facing the truth in order to reclaim our existence and begin to finally define true Lesbian existence for ourselves.

As long as Lesbians believe, promote, and/or support the false myth that any woman can become a Lesbian, we will be at least partially responsible for the devastation wrought upon our own Lesbian community.

The truth matters, because Lesbian lives matter. The truth matters to Dirt and me, and we have the right to speak out about it, because we are LESBIANS and because we care about other Lesbians. We can say who other Lesbians are because of a little thing called gaydar (and common sense once you know what to look for). And: we won’t shut up as long as Lesbian lives are being harmed and until only true LESBIANS define Lesbian.

Truth & “Later-In-Life” Lesbians

All of us probably know, or at least likely know of, a Lesbian who initially married (or partnered with) a male, had children (or not), and later (sometimes even much later), finally came out of the closet.  I have known a few of these individuals myself, and I have heard many other such Lesbian-coming-out stories over the years.

Some of the objections to recent posts regarding the question of “Can any female become a Lesbian?” have used this scenario to suggest that it is possible.

Many people also apparently mistook our posts to exclude “later-in-life” Lesbians in these scenarios from the category of Lesbian, when that is not the case at all.

Although we previously addressed the topic of “behavior versus orientation” a few times in various posts, we neglected to do a entire post focusing on this specific subject.  I belatedly realized that we needed to clarify this aspect of the topic a bit more, because it seems to be a major point of confusion.

So I will attempt to answer this question in this post by using an explanation based on a compilation of all the stories I have heard over the years of various lesbians who came out later-in-life.

So: what is the difference between a “later-in-life” Lesbian in the scenario mentioned above, versus a Straightbian? (A Straightbian is a straight woman who falsely claims to be a Lesbian).

The difference is actually quite simple, but the explanation is more complicated.

The key factor is the difference between behavior versus orientation.

In the scenario mentioned above, the woman in question is indeed a Lesbian, and she always was.

This Lesbian grew up internalizing all the messages that everyone gets from family, friends, school, church, community, and society in general that being straight is the only “acceptable” route.

She is likely, although not necessarily, an over-achiever, an extrovert, and/or from a religious/conservative family, and she likely received a lot of reinforcement while growing up for meeting other people’s expectations.

She likely felt “different” while growing up, but maybe could not pinpoint why.  She probably had close friendships and attachments with other girls.

She likely married young, perhaps to her high school or college boyfriend; and she married him not because she was passionately, head-over-heels in love/lust with him, but because he felt safe, her family approved of him, and because marriage was the expected next step in life.

She may or may not have children, but regardless, she really tries to be straight. She tries to be everything that society expects, she tries to be a “good wife”, and she tries very hard to be happy with the life she has chosen.

She ignores feelings of emptiness, boredom, and ennui and sublimates her energy into work, family, volunteering, crafts, church, home projects, etc.

She may stay in this holding pattern for a relatively short time, or she may stay there for a very long time.

She may have some conscious awareness of her innate orientation, or she may be so practiced in shoving her own feelings down so deep that even she has difficulty excavating them.

Then, at some point, for some reason (and the reasons will vary), she wakes up and she just cannot do it anymore.

She cannot continue to pretend to be something she is not.

She realizes (or has always known on some level, but is just now admitting it for the first time) that her true orientation is Lesbian.

She starts the process of making the changes needed to move toward an authentic Lesbian life.

And even though it is the right path for her, the journey will almost certainly not be easy.  Often the process will be fraught with pain and difficulty. Many people that she cares about will likely feel hurt, confused, or betrayed. She will likely lose people she thought she could always count on.

There will likely be much resistance, anger, heartbreak, and angst along the way, but her need to live an authentic Lesbian is a more powerful force than the backlash she encounters.

So, yes, the woman in this scenario is indeed a Lesbian, despite whether she was married to a man for a couple of months or for 30+ years (or anywhere in between).

There will obviously be variations between Lesbians’ individual unique stories, because of each Lesbian’s unique circumstances, temperament, background, and situation.

But the general story is universal in such scenarios: genuinely trying to “do the right thing” (that is, what is deemed “right” by society’s standards) by initially attempting to live a heterosexual life before eventually deciding to be true to herself and coming out as a Lesbian.

Also, the coming-out process itself will be different for each Lesbian, and will be based on individual circumstances and personality characteristics. Many Lesbians come out right away and relatively easily, while others may take months or even years to complete the coming-out process. Some may need therapy to help them sort out a variety of issues like guilt about not meeting expectations, dealing with internalized homophobia, learning self-acceptance, etc.

Again, the key factor to always consider is the difference between behavior and orientation.

In this scenario discussed above, the woman’s behavior (initially) appears to suggest that she is straight (after all, she married a man!).  But: this woman’s true_orientation is really Lesbian. This Lesbian found intimacy, closeness, love, and “rightness” with a female that they never even remotely felt with a male, and she moved toward her true Lesbian orientation when she was ready to come to terms with it. She did not marry a man for true love, attraction, or lust, but rather for such reasons as familial demands, societal expectations, security, a desire for approval, convenience, religious convictions, companionship, etc.

In contrast, a Straightbian is someone who is actually heterosexual but she has chosen to partner with females due to a variety of potential reasons, including, but not limited to: political reasons, being sick of dating men, curiosity, thinking “the grass is greener on the other side”, trauma, mistaking friendship for love, rebelliousness, etc.  The Straightbian’s behavior appears to suggest that she is a lesbian (after all, she is dating a woman!).  But:  The Straightbian’s true_orientation is straight, regardless of her behavior.

I hope this post helped to explain the difference between Lesbians who come out later in life, after experience with men, versus Straightbians.  I realize that it is a complicated topic because no two stories are exactly alike, but the underlying answer is actually quite simple: it’s not what you do, it is who you are.