Tag Archive | Lesbian Invisibility

“Not Femme Enough”…?

This is a post I have been slowly working on, a little at a time, because I am finding it quite difficult to process and articulate this topic; also, recently, I have been focused on my beloved sick cat, Ari, so it’s been hard to focus more than a few minutes on anything else.

Before I start trying to explain today’s topic, I wanted to mention that I’ve written before about being a Femme Lesbian, and this post will continue with that topic.

If you are interested in reading those previous posts, which are directly related to this post and which provide some important background to this post, here are the links:

Deciphering Butch/Femme

Femme: Defining Ourselves

Femme: Fact Versus Fiction

Do Femmes Wear Lipstick?

Today’s post is about the rampant misconceptions and outright lies about Femmes, and how these misconceptions and lies are prevalent, even within the Lesbian community.

There is a huge gap between what people THINK Femmes are versus what we ACTUALLY are.

Many people incorrectly THINK Femme Lesbians:

  • are hyperfeminine;
  • are obsessed with makeup, clothes, hair, shoes, etc.
  • are overtly seductive and hypersexual
  • are helpless, dependent, clingy, needy, etc.
  • are dumb, flighty, stupid, etc.
  • are Stepford Wives
  • are uninformed, unfeminist, old-fashioned, etc.
  • are “mimicking heterosexuality”
  • are an “identity” that can be chosen by anybody
  • are “performing gender”
  • are “really Straightbians
  • are subservient to Butches
stilettos

Shoes People THINK I Wear: Image: Pixabay: Pexels: CC0

These stereotypes have been perpetuated by a huge number of sources, including, but not limited to, so-called Lesbian experts” who are neither Lesbian nor expert, by purported Femmes who are actually Straightbians, by allegedly  Lesbian magazines/media/blogs/etc. which are decidedly NOT Lesbian, and by websites/forums which falsely proclaim to be for Butch/Femme Lesbians, but instead are just hideous mockeries, chock-full of Straightbians mingling with a few lonely, confused dykes.

Here is the truth about Femme Lesbians ~ we are:

  • REAL LESBIANS;
  • Born this way;
  • Equal partners in our relationships;
  • Independent, capable, strong, practical, etc.;
  • Typically outspoken;
  • Just being ourselves (Meaning: We are NOT mimicking heterosexuality, NOT performing gender, NOT playacting, etc.);
  • NOT obsessed with looks, makeup, hair, nails, clothes, shoes, etc.;
  • Dress appropriately for the task; function is important;
  • Can/do dress up if/when we choose to, but we don’t feel the need to impress the guy bagging our groceries;
  • NOT an “identity” which can just be adopted by anyone; because you either ARE a Femme Lesbian OR you are NOT…period.
Converse

Shoes I ACTUALLY Wear: Image: Pixabay: Wokandapix: CC0

So, you would assume that most actual Lesbians would be free of such misinformed assumptions, but sadly, this is rarely the case.

This widespread ignorance, even within the Lesbian community, results in real Femmes often feeling invisible. Sometimes, this invisibility presents itself in the form of being rejected and/or unrecognized by other Lesbians. At other times, paradoxically, this invisibility presents itself as being thought of as “not Femme enough” to some dykes who have issues of their own which leads them to partner with Straightbians.

Please see Dirt’s companion post, here, about some of the possible issues dykes might have which would lead them to partner with Straightbians. I won’t be covering that in this post.

Instead, I wanted to address the issue of my being perceived as “not Femme enough” by some dykes. This phenomenon has happened to me, although I didn’t fully understand it until recently. For instance, I was told repeatedly by 2 previous Butch partners that I was “too athletic”, and I was encouraged incessantly by both of them to dress more provocatively and to wear more makeup, etc. I didn’t EVER stop working out, nor did I change my appearance/clothes (because I am a particularly stubborn person, LOL!), but I will admit that such comments did bother me and make me feel criticized and unwanted. Interestingly, although not surprisingly, both of these Butches had only dated Straightbians before me, and both went back to dating Straightbians after we broke up. In other words, both of them were comparing me to Straightbians, and found me quite lacking in the hyper-femininity department. Both of them wanted another kind of woman (a Straightbian!) who would meet the male fantasy of a sexy, seductive woman —  which is so NOT me.

Another instance in which this scenario has affected me is when someone Dirt and I know online (from our blogs or Twitter or Facebook) wants to meet us in person. I always worry about what people’s reactions will be when I don’t meet their incorrect Straightbian/sexy/seductive/MALE-fantasy notions of what a Femme “should” be. Often, it feels that people are expecting me to show up looking/dressed like I plan to be on the cover of Vogue, but when they meet me, I am always dressed as I normally do (which certainly does NOT include high heels, skimpy dresses, or plunging necklines; instead, it usually includes shorts/pants, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes).

It is impossible not to feel that such people are somehow disappointed with me for not being the femme fatale of their imagination. (Not even remotely close!).

When I was younger, I was both puzzled and hurt by such situations. Now that I am older (and hopefully at least a little bit wiser), I finally realize that I am fine as I am; heck, I always was. I am proud to be a dyke. If anyone has the nerve to feel like I am doing it wrong, she is the one with the problem, not me.

The Official Straightbian Guide To Becoming A “Lesbian Expert” On Social Media

Attention: Straightbians! Have you ever thought how nice it would be to show the world your “Lesbian expertise”? Would you like to get your slice of the “Lesbian pie” and the attention and adoration of other Straightbians, “feminists”, “gender-critical” individuals, and all other straight people on social media? Hey, if you are lucky, and if you meet what heterosexual society deems as attractive, you too may get the opportunity to write for a popular “Lesbian magazine” or to be a contributor to a popular “Lesbian website”! Wouldn’t that be exciting? If this is everything you have ever dreamed of, never fear, you’ve come to the right place! This handy-dandy guide will take you from an obscure typical straight female to an internationally celebrated “Lesbian expert” quicker than you can spell Straightbian!

You may be wondering how to get started. Yes, it can indeed be a daunting prospect to create a fake persona based on a precarious balance of delusional self-deception and egocentric self-promotion, but hey! If many others do it every single day, you can too! Don’t let little problems like the truth or basic human decency deter you from your life goals! With just a little polishing of your “identity”, you will be ready to bask in your social media presence as a “Lesbian expert” in no time at all!

First, if you aren’t already posing as “a Lesbian”, you will have to “come out as a Lesbian”, but that is no problem at all! But before we jump the tiny hurdle of “coming out”, you will need to decide on the type of “Lesbian” you want to be:

Type A: The Sexy Straightbian: To be this type of Straightbian, all you need to do is to be fluent in the straight-male-fantasy-of-“Lesbian”. Pouty lips? Check! Smoky eyes? Check! Stilettos? Check! Pretty girlfriend? Check! A willingness to take sexy pics of yourself in various revealing poses, such as the ever-popular “doggie skyscraper“, while calling it “Lesbian”? Check check CHECK!

Type B: The Sexless Straightbian: Hate men? Check! #YesAllMen? Check! “Eschew” makeup? Check! Love the work of Sheila Jeffreys? Check! Ready to Smash The Patriarchy? Check check CHECK!

Now that you have selected your type, be sure to build upon it!

If you have selected Type A, feel free to embellish with all the accoutrements of your sexy persona. Take that pole dancing class! Buy a velvet sofa! Visit Victoria’s Secret and splurge on some hot lingerie! Wax those pubes! You’re worth it!

If you have selected Type B, go even deeper into character. Shave one side of your head! Buy some Doc Martens! Rip those Levi’s! Read some Andrea Dworkin! “Eschew” shaving! Call yourself “Butch”! Why not? The “Lesbian” world is your oyster, so get ready to suck it dry!

The deeper you go into your “Lesbian” character, the more you can profit, so go for it! Give it Hell, ladies! Meryl Streep herself couldn’t sell it like you can! Believe in yourself!

Okay, now that your Straightbian persona is sorted, now you can move on to “coming out”! How? Simple! Just say “I’m a Lesbian”! Other Straightbians, “feminists”, “gender-critical” individuals, and all other straight people will automatically believe you! Boom! Done!

Now, proceed to bombard social media with your “Lesbian life”. Aggressively follow and support other Straightbians ad nauseum. Building a “Lesbian community” is essential to your success as a Straightbian! Make sure to include numerous pics of yourself with another female, because that will be “proof-positive” of your “identity” as a “Lesbian”!

Take some time to review your social media friends’ tweets/posts/pics/hashtags/videos/etc. and proceed to copy them enthusiastically! Don’t worry that you don’t know what you are talking about! Nobody will notice, since they are all saying the same thing! Groupthink is your best friend! Rinse and repeat until “Lesbian” fame and fortune are yours!

No guide would be complete without a few words of caution. Beware of real Lesbians who may try to rain on your Straightbian parade. Current estimates of the number of these Lesbian “bullies” range from “a couple” to “a mob”. Regardless, should you encounter one of these annoying naysayers, simply repeatedly claim that you ARE a “Lesbian” BECAUSE YOU SAY SO. If necessary, make numerous sock-puppet accounts to support yourself in your own arguments! Call upon your Straightbian “sisters” to jump in and support you too! There is strength in numbers, and rest assured that Straightbians will always way outnumber real Lesbians! Don’t worry that you have no idea what it really means to be a Lesbian! Remain firm in your conviction that it is your right…indeed, it is your privilege…to claim “lesbianism” for yourself! When an argument with a real Lesbian gets heated, always be sure to mention “rape culture”, “racism”, “sexism”, “The Patriarchy”, and/or “misogyny”! That always works to derail a conversation! Don’t worry that what you are saying is completely irrelevant to the discussion! Most importantly, always make sure to call your Lesbian opponents “male” and to insult their appearance! All that is important in these senseless battles is for you to emerge with your “Lesbian” “identity” fully intact amongst your target group.

In summary, with just a few simple steps, you too will be well on your way to firmly establishing your Straightbian social media empire as a “Lesbian expert”. Go you! Feel good about yourself as you bask in the fragile glory of internet presence. Your past days of ennui and angst are but a distant memory. You are the very Straightbian image of “Lesbian” personified now…let’s hear you roar!

Choice Or Not?

Let’s all play a little game.

Which ONE of the following is NOT A CHOICE?

  • Clothing
  • Hairstyle
  • Shoes
  • Tattoos
  • Piercings
  • Political affiliation
  • What to eat for dinner
  • Shaving
  • Watching TV
  • Becoming a vegan
  • Painting your toenails
  • Using deodorant
  • Drinking tequila
  • Giving up sugar
  • Smoking
  • Attending church
  • Having sex (Note: meaning: consensual sex between willing adults, of course!)
  • Straight females “eschewing” relationships with males
  • Being a Lesbian

For anyone who chose “Being a Lesbian” as the ONLY item which is NOT A CHOICE: Ding ding ding! You won the game! Hooray! Woo-hoo! Good for you!

For everyone else, please go find another blog that will tell you the lies you want to hear.

Lesbians Need A New Symbol

Note:  Please also read: Dirt’s companion piece, “Double Female Symbol-Not Lesbian-Then or Now” for additional information/explanation.

Dirt and I have been talking and writing for a while now about how Lesbian has been consistently misrepresented, used, and abused…twisted in a whirlwind of hetsplanations, pornifications, and outright lies.

Even the universally recognized symbol for Lesbian (intertwined female symbols) is NOT LESBIAN.

womanwoman

“Lesbian” Symbol (NOT!)

Why? Well, there are many reasons; Dirt’s companion piece, “Double Female Symbol-Not Lesbian-Then or Now” for more reasons/explanation.

The piece of the puzzle that I am focusing on today is: this symbol does NOT accurately represent Lesbian because 2 females kissing, holding hands, or even making love does not mean either/both of them are actually Lesbian(s).

Any 2 females can do any of those things, of course, but it is NOT “Lesbian” unless the individuals involved are BOTH Lesbians.

Here’s the thing: If something doesn’t involve actual LESBIANS, it is NOT LESBIAN.

In TV shows and movies, if there is even the slightest whiff of flirtation between 2 female characters (even if either of the characters was having sex with a man 5 minutes earlier and/or goes on to have sex with a man 5 minutes later)…BOOM…people will immediately start talking about a “Lesbian scene” or “Lesbian subplot” or “Lesbian subtext” or “Lesbian kiss” etc. etc. etc., ad nauseum.

The following is but a very small sample of the NON-lesbian characters/scenarios in TV and movies that have been incorrectly called “Lesbian“:  (Note that I am not talking about whether or not the actors themselves are straight; I am talking about the characters/scenarios):

1). Roseanne Barr’s famous “Lesbian” kiss with Mariel Hemingway in the episode “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. While addressing homophobia, an admirable goal, was the reason given by Barr for including this scene, unfortunately, calling kissing a married straight woman a “Lesbian” (or “gay” as some  people, including Barr, incorrectly insist on saying) scene undermines real Lesbians by implying that we are defined solely by physical contact or action. Lesbian is lesbian, and straight is straight, regardless of physical/sexual activity.

2). The entire hideously offensive “Lesbian” movie “The Kids are All Right”, in which Julianne Moore’s allegedly “Lesbian” character had copious heterosexual sex throughout the whole debacle, only to claim at the end of the movie that such straight behavior didn’t mean she wasn’t a “Lesbian“.  Um…yeah, it does, in fact, mean just that.

3). Almost every “Lesbian” storyline in Orange is the New Black, starting, but sadly not ending, with Straightbian Piper’s on-again, off-again affair with Alex. This decidedly NON-Lesbian storyline is foreshadowed in the Season 1 official trailer, in which at approximately .36-.37 seconds, Piper’s mom asks “You were a lesbian?” and Piper (sitting with her MALE fiance) replies “At the time”. No, no, no, no, no! You either are, or you’re not, a Lesbian, Piper. To make matters even worse, the OITNB Lesbian characters who are supposed to be REAL Lesbians are portrayed as sexual predators (Big Boo) or killed off (Poussey).  Boo, Hiss.

4). Thelma and Louise has been applauded as an excellent example of “Lesbian” subtext. Bullshit. Both Thelma and Louise were straight women who needlessly got themselves into a difficult situation, making progressively worse and worse decisions…including Geena Davis’s character first willingly making out with a guy in the parking lot (who turned out to be a wannabe rapist) which resulted in the very reason they became outlaws, then later having wild sex with a male thief. The whole sad nonsense culminated in them driving themselves off a freaking cliff.  Thelma and Louise are not heroic feminist icons, and they are definitely NOT Lesbians.

5). Xena: Okay, this last example actually pains me to discuss, because I was a Xena fan. I realize now that I was so starved for Lesbian representation that I was willing to scarf up the “subtext” scraps the writers and actors threw us. I was willing to overlook the “maintext” plots involving male romantic entanglements. I was willing to deny my own discomfort when the show could not be trusted to even acknowledge us, much less actually care about us, despite the fan base being heavily Lesbian. Now it’s time to admit that the  so-called Xena “Lesbian subtext” was only a pitiful broken bone thrown to the hungry Lesbian audience, all the while maintaining the true heterosexuality of the 2 main characters to keep their ratings, and their straight privilege, intact.

The examples of such NON-Lesbian scenarios go on and on and on and ON.

It is time to stop this foolishness. We need to stop calling any female/female innuendo “Lesbian”. I know I said it before, but I will say it again and again and again:

If something doesn’t involve actual LESBIANS, it is NOT LESBIAN.

lezzie-symbol

 

Black Mirror’s San Junipero: A Happily-Ever-After Lesbian Love Story…???

!!SPOILER ALERT!!

The 4th episode of the 3rd series of Black Mirror, “San Junipero” (and if you’re unfamiliar with Black Mirror, think Twilight Zone meets the technological age) has been much-ballyhooed as a triumph over the tired, homophobic “Bury Your Gays” trope.

And, in many ways, it indeed seems to be a happy ending. After all, the 2 lead female characters (Warning: Second, and final, spoiler alert!!) ~ after back-and-forth drama ~ do end up in virtual-reality eternity together, complete with a happy end-scene montage to the tune of Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth”.

But…

There seems to always be a “but” when it comes to how Lesbian love is portrayed, and this particular portrayal has a big “but”:

Only one character (Yorkie) is a Lesbian; therefore, the relationship could never be mutual, happy, or true love. (And: Yorkie is a Lesbian whose family would not accept her, leading to tragedy…an all-to-familiar outcome for many Lesbians).

The other character, Kelly, is a bored straight woman who was married for 49 years to a man. Early in the episode, Kelly vaguely alludes to some never-acted-upon same-sex attractions over the years of her heterosexual marriage:

“They were crushes…Never acted on any of it. Never did anything. I really was in love with him.

This fleeting reference to Kelly’s unrequited same-sex flirtations led some viewers to call her “queer” or “bisexual”…but the truth is, it is clear that Kelly is oriented toward males. She married and stayed with a man for decades; plus, only a week before she meets Yorkie in San Junipero, Kelly was f**king a random man for “fun”.

The creator/writer, Charlie Brooker, explains in a spoiler interview (in reference to the same-sex relationship which is central to this story):

“in terms of the writing of it, I tried not to think of that. It’s just two souls.”

The actress who played Kelly, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, chimes in with:

“And that’s sort of the beautiful thing about the characters—in relation to their sexuality—is it’s really not about that, it’s not an issue, it’s not a problem. Obviously they all have their own relationships, how they’ve come to be in San Junipero and their own histories, but I think it’s about human beings and love and souls. And it’s not about it being a problem. That wasn’t the focus of the story and I think that’s actually really refreshing.”

Of course, all of that sounds very accepting and liberal and oh-so-very-nice, doesn’t it?

But here’s the thing: That sort of “sexuality-is-fluid, it’s not about same-sex love, we’re all just people, it’s just two souls” rhetoric is completely dismissive and erasing of real Lesbians. Note that they cannot even say the word “Lesbian”; instead they both refer to us and our love as “that!

For Lesbians, our love is not just about “two sexless souls”; our orientation is not “fluid”; and furthermore, we deserve to BE the actual focus of a story.

But it’s not just the hetsplaining and (seemingly) benign ignorance of the creator/writer and the actress that  I had a problem with in this episode.

My MAIN problem is, as usual, the Lesbian was just expected to accept, even embrace, shoddy treatment from a Straightbian, as if we are somehow LUCKY to be graced by their presence.

I am referring to the scene that decisively showed Kelly’s true colors and her arrogant straight privilege: the scene in which she abusively slapped Yorkie in the face, then condescendingly lectured her:

You can’t begin to imagine. You can’t know the bond, the commitment, the boredom, the yearning, the laughter, the love of it. The fucking love.
You just cannot know! Everything we sacrificed.
The years I gave him. The years he gave me.
Did you think to ask? Did it occur to you to ask? We had a daughter. Alison.
Always difficult, always beautiful. Died at 39 years old, bless her heart.
And Richard and I, we felt that heartbreak as one.
You think you’re the only person ever suffered, go fuck yourself…I pitied you, and that’s the truth.I pitied you. Now you give me some sales pitch about how fucking peachy forever could be… You wanna spend forever somewhere nothing matters? End up like Wes? All those lost fucks at the Quagmire trying anything to feel something, go ahead. But I’m out. I’m gone.

(Gagging loudly).

Kelly obviously didn’t remember (or care) that she was the one who refused to talk about serious topics, opting on insisting on a “good time”, instead of forming a real connection. Kelly obviously thinks that Lesbian Yorkie couldn’t possibly fathom the “depth” of her heterosexual marriage. She admits she married Yorkie out of PITY…not love…or even friendship. Furthermore, Kelly is quick to dismiss and disparage the people in the Quagmire (a new-wave, punk-rock sort of “anything-goes” club) as “lost fucks” even though she herself visited there for recreational f**king! Hypocritical much, Kelly?

Many viewers discussed in reviews and in online discussions about how “touching” the above scene was, because they perceived it to show “depth” to Kelly’s character.

Um…no.

What this specific scene showed was NOT true “depth”…at all. Instead, what it showed was Kelly’s complete disrespect and disdain for someone who had been nothing but kind and loving toward her. It showed the writer’s casual and callous dismissal of Lesbian feelings in favor of the alleged fabled “bond” of a heterosexual union. It showed the underlying nastiness lurking below Kelly’s seemingly fun and free-spirited facade. It showed outright physical and emotional abuse. It showed Kelly’s true heterosexual orientation and straight privilege. It showed an utter lack of understanding of, and a complete lack of respect for, not only the Lesbian lover who Kelly purported to care about, but also for Lesbians in general. And there is absolutely zero acknowledgement of, or empathy for, the tragic and HOMOPHOBIC circumstances that ruined Yorkie’s life.

Instead of discussing the very real dilemma Kelly was facing in a way that would have shown respect for the woman she allegedly cared about, Kelly’s character was shown to lash out physically and verbally in a very mean-spirited, immature, unattractive, narcissistic, selfish, straight-privileged, and egocentric manner.

And instead of handing Kelly her ass on a platter as she should have done, the Lesbian character, Yorkie, ends up apologizing, as if she had anything whatsoever to apologize for.

Furthermore, despite Kelly offering no apology to Yorkie (nor did any scenes afterward indicate any real soul-searching on the part of Kelly), the audience is magically supposed to believe that Kelly suddenly decides to show up in San Junipero for a happily-ever-after eternity with Yorkie and we are supposed buy into the concept that Yorkie should be happy to get Kelly back.

The sad truth is that Kelly would be f**king a man within a month, and Yorkie would get her Lesbian heart broken.

This is NOT the happy ending Lesbians deserve. Instead, San Junipero turns out to be just another slap in the face. 

brokenhearts

#PicsArt #FreeToEdit

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.

Lesbian Truth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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