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Family and the Art of Imperfection

Family

My father died 16 years ago today.  In one way, his death seems like it just happened yesterday, but in another way, it seems like at least a century ago; I am left with a hazy, vague impression of events that might as well have been from a movie I saw long ago.

I guess time blurs the edges of pain. Maybe time blurs everything.

Between the anniversary of my father’s death today and Mother’s Day yesterday, I have been thinking a lot about family.  I was an only child, so I am the only one left to remember.

My relationship with my father was always good. Straightforward, solid, steady. Predictable. Consistent. I knew he loved me, although we didn’t say it; no, we were both much to stoic for that kind of mushy nonsense. Instead of words, it was his actions showed love. He took care of me whenever my mother was too busy, too self-absorbed, or simply too forgetful to do so. It was my father I could always depend on: for unexpected pop quizzes on random topics; for a cheese sandwich on gooey white bread with extra mayo and a teacup of whole milk anytime I was hungry; for endless rides to and from school; for help whenever my car(s) broke down; for listening to my ramblings about life on long walks from the time I was old enough to walk all the way up until he got too sick to walk anymore.

My relationship with my mother was much more complicated. My mother herself was much more complicated. My mother was fierce, difficult, egocentric, demanding, and stubborn. She was also funny, smart, strong, über-organized, and quite independent. I once took this quiz, “Do You Have A Narcissistic Mother?”, and let’s just say the score was significant. Very significant.

From the time I was born until the time she died, my relationship with my mother was a challenge. I would often feel exhausted in her presence, sometimes falling into what I called a “coma nap” when I visited with her, which felt like being dragged under into a deep, deep sleep by a force more powerful than myself.  Mom was shockingly self-absorbed, rarely showing any interest in me or anything I did or anything I was interested in; for instance, she never even asked what subject I got a Ph.D. in, nor did she ever show any interest whatsoever in my studies. As another example, I once traveled all over Europe for a summer, and upon my return, she did not ask my anything about the trip. At all. Not one thing.

That is certainly not to say that Mom and I didn’t have many good times, because we did. I can remember staying up late with my mother and watching Benny Hill, laughing until we cried. I remember her selling her high school ring to buy my high school ring. I remember her rescuing me from a wannabe molester like a superhero. I remember how I escaped the “coming out” horrors that many Lesbians endure, and I believe that this was likely, at least in part, because my mother decreed publicly that it was fine with her, and everyone was always too afraid to go up against my mother. I fondly remember playing cards with Mom, her friend, and my ex every Thursday night for several years after Dad died. I remember Mom coming immediately, without questioning, driving over 4 hours, to help me move out of my apartment when I was young and had just discovered my first girlfriend cheating on me…although I also distinctly remember her saying “I told you so”. (My first girlfriend and my mother were mortal enemies; I realize now that it was because they were simply too much alike).

When I first wrote about my mother, I wrote: “Love her or hate her (and I still vacillate between the two, even after her death)….

Doing a Mother’s Day collage yesterday, I realized that it is time to amend that statement, because I no longer feel hate when I think of my mother. Now, I just feel love…it’s a complicated, difficult love, but it’s clearly love nonetheless.

In doing my Mother’s Day collage yesterday, I suddenly felt a kind of burden being lifted from me; one I wasn’t even fully consciously aware of carrying. The cloak of hurt, anger, anxiety, perfectionism, and angst that has been wrapped around my shoulders/neck ever since before I can remember was lovingly unraveled and discarded. I feel that I can finally breathe freely now.

It turns out that the answer was stunningly simple and had been available all along: My mother wasn’t perfect. Nor am I, nor are you, nor is any other human ever born.

I have come to believe over the years that most people are doing the best we can with the resources we have at the time. Sometimes it’s good enough, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. Sometimes we succeed admirably, sometimes we fail miserably. Sometimes we hurt others, sometimes we get hurt.

I realized while doing the collage yesterday that I needed to forgive others, starting with my mother; to forgive myself; to accept that life is not perfect, others are not perfect, and neither am I.

Of course, I know that this isn’t earth-shaking, ground-breaking insight. Countless others have figured this long out before I did; in fact, the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi has been teaching this lesson for centuries. I’d read about wabi-sabi years ago and truly didn’t understand how anyone could accept, much less embrace, imperfection.

Now I finally get it…better late than never, right?

With Friends Like That, Who Needs Enemies?

Recently, I have been seeing posts and memes on Facebook, calling for unity and/or wishing for simpler times, when videos of cats doing silly things were the most serious things you’d see on your Facebook feed.

I do understand the wishes to keep Facebook light & fun and free of politics. I wish that were the case too.

But the current administration makes that impossible; I am afraid those days are gone, perhaps forever. We are living in a new world now.

Why? Because when you realize that your cousin (or uncle, brother, aunt, sister, friend, neighbor, coworker) supports the Trump administration, an administration which actively promotes hate, intolerance, injustice, discrimination, and untruth, you realize that there is no way you can remain friends with that person.

Because with “friends” like that, who needs enemies?

How Much Sex Is “Normal”?: A “Dear Lesbian” Question

I just received an anonymous comment on my Lesbian Bed Death post, and since I think others may have the same questions/concerns, this comment will be the subject of today’s “Dear Lesbian” post.

Here is the comment:

The comments about happy couples still having sex after years worry me. I am a 45 year old lesbian. My girlfriend of 3 years never wants to have sex. Well, maybe not never, but hardly ever. Maybe like once every 3 months if I am lucky. I have been assuming it was lesbian bed death, but now I am worried. Does this mean my girlfriend is a Straightbian?

Without any further details, I am going to have to speak very generally, but first of all, I want to stress that there is no “normal” amount of sex to have.

What is “too much” for one person may be “too little” for another. Some people might want to have sex once a day, others once a week, others once a month, others once a year, others the 12th of never. (And any variation thereof).

While there is no “right” and “wrong” amount of desire for an individual, things can get tricky when we partner with another person, because one partner’s preference for frequency of sex may differ significantly from the other’s.

Ideally, couples will be (at least mostly) compatible regarding desire for frequency of intimacy, but sometimes, one partner will want to have sex much more frequently than the other, and when there is a big discrepancy, that is a really tough position to be in, for both partners.

This situation can happen with heterosexual or gay male couples too; so this issue is definitely not limited to Lesbian couples.

Bottom line: It’s impossible to say whether or not this person’s partner is a Straightbian, and it’s really not my place to do so anyway.

It is unclear whether the sex is still good when it does occur, or whether there has been a sudden and/or significant change at some point. Those are questions that the commenter will need to consider herself.

There are many non-Straightbian-related factors that can potentially decrease a woman’s sexual desire, including, but not limited to: thyroid dysfunction, parathyroid issues, chronic fatigue, chronic illness, chronic pain, stress, overwhelming responsibilities, perimenopause/menopause, post-hysterectomy issues, body image issues, grief, surgical recovery, hormonal issues, relationship issues, mental health concerns, etc.

And since so many issues can potentially inhibit sexual desire, it’s not always easy figuring out the cause(s).

As difficult as it will be, if the discrepancy in sexual desire is an issue (and it sounds like it is indeed a concern for this reader), the only way to start is by having a kind and supportive, but frank, conversation about the situation, approaching the issue directly but sensitively.

But don’t just assume that if your partner doesn’t want to have frequent sex that it must mean she’s a Straightbian. The discrepancy in desire may be caused a variety of other issues, and those answers can only be determined by the individuals involved, using good communication/problem-solving skills, and seeking professional help if needed (while also using our Lesbian intuition at the same time).

Hope this helps explain further, and as always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This blog is NOT intended to be professional advice, nor to substitute for the advice of a licensed professional. The reader should consult with an appropriate professional regarding all mental health needs.

A Miracle In Tampa (How The Norman Parathyroid Center Gave Me My Life Back)

I wasn’t overly concerned at first; after all, my doctors weren’t worried.

After routine blood tests, my calcium had been determined to be “a little high”: 10.7. “Don’t worry about it”, I was told. “Let’s wait and retest in about 6-8 months”, they said.

When my calcium level went up to 10.9 on retesting, I was told the same thing, by both doctors. “It’s not high enough to cause your symptoms”, they said, “It could just be a lab fluke. All your other labs are fine.”

By the time retesting revealed that my blood calcium had crept to 11.0,  I was seriously ill with the very same symptoms that were allegedly completely unrelated to this labwork anomaly: crushing fatigue so profound that just driving home from work had become an actual daily challenge; all-over pain which made even the smallest task seem overwhelming;  and, perhaps most unsettling to me, an ever-increasing distinct change in my normally easy-going, optimistic personality.

As just one example, I frequently found myself lacking both patience and empathy for blog/Facebook commenters and fellow Tweeters. I started wanting to (rudely!!) give everyone a piece of my mind at the slightest provocation. (I usually refrained from doing so, but the desire was there for the first time in my life, and this bothered me, because it just wasn’t me).

I felt as if I had aged 10++ years in a relatively short time. I probably looked it too, but, quite frankly, I simply didn’t have the energy to care. Getting through the work week became my sole goal, my Everest.

I tried to distract myself from the pain and fatigue, and Dirt was as wonderful as always at helping me in every way. I would occasionally succeed in momentary distraction, but as time went on, the good moments were becoming  increasingly fleeting, vastly surpassed by sheer misery on an everyday basis.

In desperation, I finally did what I should have done much, much, MUCH sooner, but had been too busy, tired, overwhelmed, sick, stressed, and preoccupied to do:

I googled “high calcium” and voilà! The clear and obvious answer had been there all along if I (or my doctors!) had taken the time to look…

I had a parathyroid tumor!!

The road to confirming this self-diagnosis would take several months, but, to make a long story a bit shorter, I had surgery a few days ago, which successfully removed the rogue parathyroid tumor which had hijacked my entire existence.

Please help me in passing along the word. I don’t want anyone to ever suffer needlessly as I did.

So please tell your friends, your relatives, your neighbors, your coworkers, and pretty much anybody else who will stand still long enough to listen:

1). High blood calcium (hypercalcemia) is not normal, and therefore always needs follow up. If the high calcium level persists, realize that:

“Over 99.8% of all people who have a blood test that shows too much calcium will have a parathyroid problem…

It must be fixed. It cannot be “observed”

Most adults have calcium levels somewhere between 9.4 and 9.9 mg/dl, which is why we like to say that “adults live in the 9’s”…

It is typically not normal for adults to have frequent or persistent calcium levels in the 10’s…

If you are an adult over 40 and your calcium is over 10.0 mg/dl (2.5 mmol/l) on several occasions, then you are very likely to have a parathyroid tumor

Be careful, many labs don’t give the normal range for your age–they give the normal range for teenagers to everybody! And your doctor may not be aware of this.

(Source: www.parathyroid.com)

2). The symptoms of hyperparathyroidism are generally vague and/or could be mistakenly attributed to other causes. Therefore, these symptoms are often overlooked and/or misattributed by both doctors and patients.

Please take a moment to review the typical symptoms:

“Symptoms of Parathyroid Disease (Hyperparathyroidism):

Loss of energy. Don’t feel like doing much. Tired all the time. Chronic fatigue. (#1 symptom)

Just don’t feel well; don’t quite feel normal. Hard to explain but just feel kind of bad.

Feel old. Don’t have the interest in things that you used to.

Can’t concentrate, or can’t keep your concentration like in the past.

Depression. 

Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.

Bones hurt; typically it’s bones in the legs and arms but can be most bones.

Don’t sleep like you used to. Wake up in middle of night. Trouble getting to sleep.

Tired during the day and frequently feel like you want a nap (but naps don’t help).

Spouse claims you are more irritable and harder to get along with (cranky, bitchy). 

Forget simple things that you used to remember very easily (worsening memory).

Gastric acid reflux; heartburn; GERD. 

Decrease in sex drive. 

Thinning hair (predominately in middle aged females on the front part of the scalp).

Kidney Stones (and eventually kidney failure). 

High Blood Pressure (sometimes mild, sometimes quite severe; up and down a lot).

Recurrent Headaches (usually patients under the age of 40).

Heart Palpitations (arrhythmias). Typically atrial arrhythmias.

Atrial Fibrillation (rapid heart rate, often requiring blood thinners and pacemakers).

High liver function tests (liver blood tests).

Development of MGUS and abnormal blood protein levels.

Most people with hyperparathyroidism will have 5 – 6 of these symptoms. Some will have lots of them. A few people will say they don’t have any… but after an operation they will often say otherwise. In general, the longer you have hyperparathyroidism, the more symptoms you will develop.”

(Source: www.parathyroid.com)

3). If you have a parathyroid tumor, as I did, the ONLY treatment is surgery. It needs to get OUT of your neck as soon as possible, so you can get your life back.

4). The success of parathyroid surgery will depend HUGELY on the skill and experience of the surgeon.

For that reason, I decided to fly to Tampa to have the surgery by Dr. Politz of the Norman Parathyroid Center.

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Dirt’s view from the waiting room during my surgery at Tampa General Hospital

I am 100++% thrilled with that decision, despite having to pay out-of-pocket.  (I had to pay myself simply because my insurance company is a jerk; note that other/smarter insurance companies do cover this surgery, so always check).

Dr. Politz, everyone at Tampa General Hospital, and everyone else who I have encountered through the Norman Parathyroid Center have all been consistently friendly, reassuring, professional, caring, concerned, competent, honest, and helpful.

They also didn’t flinch when I introduced Dirt as my wife; they treated us and our relationship with the same kindness and respect as they did the rest of their patients.

I felt better mere hours after surgery than I had in a very long time. Less than a week after surgery, the bone pain is gone, the fatigue is gone, the acid reflux is already significantly decreased, I am sleeping better, and I feel much more alert and interested in life.

Most importantly, I am starting to feel the presence of something I haven’t felt in a long time…the old me…the real me.

5). If you suspect a parathyroid problem, please thoroughly read the www.parathyroid.com website, run by the Norman Parathyroid Center. It is packed with a plethora of information in an accessible and easy-to-read format.

6). The moral of my story is: Trust yourself. Take charge. Doctors don’t know everything. If you feel that something is wrong with your health, listen to your body and listen to your intuition. Be your own advocate, do your own research, and don’t ever accept a casual brush-off of your concerns from your doctor. Find the right doctor.

Your life depends on it.

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!

“It’s Nothing Personal, It’s Just Business”(Written By Dirt)

NOTE: My partner, spouse, and all-around sweetiepie, Dirt, wrote this today & it is originally posted here on her blog.  I agree 2,987,674,342+++ percent…:

I had worked for Corporate America for 20 years. Throughout these two decades I witnessed from time to time (time to time being whenever 3rd quarter rolled around and it was apparent that projected/promised stockholder numbers weren’t going to be met by years end) people (workers) being let go.

Not let go because they were not doing their jobs well. Not let go because they frequently called in sick. Not let go because they were just plain assholes.

Let go because the company was accountable to stockholders and the company needed to show those stockholders a certain profit. In business, particularly Big Business, in order to excuse and mitigate PERSONAL responsibility for firing people (workers), businesses have enacted a get-out-of-guilt/responsibility-free mantra.

A mantra so eerily similar to the Nazi lyrics of the Nuremberg Trials (we were merely following orders/we did as we were told)-It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.

Corporate America is notorious for lining the pockets of their favoured presidential candidate. Business as usual we could say. But a few days ago something insane and unprecedented happened, for the FIRST time in US history, Corporate America was elected President of the United States of America!

Elected from a contemptible campaign of female hatred, racial hatred, homosexual hatred and religious hatred; all melting into a cancerous ball of hatred against the very foundation that America was built upon-a multi cultural, multi national melting pot!

No sooner did this happen when those of us who are of a certain sexual orientation, a certain color/race, certain origins, certain religions and a certain sex were quickly squelched for verbalizing what the win for President Corporate America means to us now, will mean more to us in the immediate future and may mean for us in a now not so unforeseeable future! And squelched by people we once believed truly knew us and cared about us, our closest friends AND family. We’re being reminded all over social media sites:

  • just calm down
  • it’s not that bad
  • that can’t really happen
  • he can’t do that
  • you’re being dramatic
  • stop acting like someone kicked your dog
  • stop acting like your mother just died
  • it’s time to unify
  • time to find common ground
  • stop name calling
  • grow up
  • we’ve lived through Reagan and Bush (no, many of us did not!)
  • we are all still Americans
  • let’s just pray on it
  • let’s pledge our allegiance to the flag

As a Lesbian and only speaking as a Lesbian, President Corporate America not only has the power to change my family’s life, it has promised to do as soon as it took office. My marriage will likely legally end in a few months. Not because my wife and I are having problems. Not because I or my wife cheated. Not because my wife and I have irreconcilable differences.

  • But because President Corporate America and EVERY person who voted it in, whether directly, or indirectly by voting for a 3rd party or not voting at all, believes heterosexual love TRUMPS Lesbian love.
  • Because President Corporate America and EVERY person who voted it in, whether directly, or indirectly by voting for a 3rd party or not voting at all does not value the love, the respect, the bonding, the beauty and the honesty between two Lesbians is worthy of legal marriage.
  • And because President Corporate America and EVERY person who voted it in, whether directly, or indirectly by voting for a 3rd party or not voting at all want to obliterate all traces or reminders that Lesbians exist in the first place.

This election yanked the thin diaphanous veil of liberalistic pretense from this country and scarier from the people we once called family and friend. What true family member or friend is going to tell you to calm down or grow up when you have just been told your legal marriage to your wife is going to be revoked? The very word WIFE is being ripped from our Lesbian mouths as I type!

And before President Corporate America even realised it had won, the words DYKE and LESBIAN were being violently turned back in Lezbophobic slurs. Our vehicles being vandalized, our homes spray painted with repugnant graffiti, our jobs threatened, our housing possibilities shrinking and our Lesbian nature and Lesbian love desecrated!

But hey, it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.

  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America ends our marriages and bans all future marriage between homosexuals!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America declares an open season for vandalizing homosexual possessions!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America declares an open season for homophobes to vandalize homosexual lives!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes our right to visit the love of our life in hospital because we’re not married or related!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes our right to receive our partners health benefits!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes our right to inherit from our partner even though we’ve been together 40 years!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes the intangible legitimacy of committed homosexual couples!

You tell me dear reader, HOW THE FUCK IS ANY OF THIS NOT PERSONAL?!

I grew up in Flint Michigan and was a teen in the 1980s. I know FIRST hand what happens when Corporate America needs to please its stockholders. When Corporate America is ran by an idiot so far removed from the working class that laying off 35,000 people in one town means nothing outside of dollar $igns and number$. I personally watched my hometown fold it on itself as factories closed, then businesses who sold parts to the factories closed and all the businesses that relied on factory worker consumerism closed.

I personally helped foreclosed and evicted family members move to trailer parks when their money ran out and no new jobs were created. I personally saw my hometown reach such a miserable low that the horrific increase of crime and violence reached such a high, that people celebrated Flint being the most violent and worst city to live in in the country, simply to have something to celebrate!

And what did Corporate America aka Roger Smith have to say? It’s nothing personal, it’s just business. When you’re getting shot at because you were lucky enough to scrap $20 bucks together to buy yourself a winter coat so you wouldn’t freeze to death when you slept in your car and those less fortunate are willing to kill you for it?

That’s fucking personal!

Just as personal as Corporate America becoming President of the entire country! If you want to know what America is going to look like in a year or so, watch Michael Moore’s documentary of Flint Michigan Roger and Me. If you want to know what America might look like in four years?

It may look just like this:

or this:

or this:

 

We ARE personal. We are ALWAYS personal. And when humans becomes big business, we have been stripped naked of all humanity. America as we used to know it was founded on a “government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, for the PEOPLE“! And that, dear readers, is NOT business, it is PERSONAL!

dirt