Australia is known as “The Lucky Country”, but we know the truth. I haven’t felt up to writing much about the marriage equality campaign and how my fiancee and I are dealing with it (not well, but we will be fine). I want to share the following article because it sums up exactly how it feels. Please have a read.
The title for this post is inspired by the Melissa Etheridge song of the same name, and it got me thinking about the real truth of femme invisibility. Are we really invisible? So many articles written by purported “femmes” are about invisibility; about the problems of being read as straight by both straight people and other lesbians. Is it really the huge problem it’s made out to be?
Honestly, I think it depends on the femme and on the situation. There have been times in my life that I have found it to be extremely isolating. As a student I saw the comradery between dykes and was never a part of that. Even that knowing eye contact and nod in the street was something I craved but rarely found. Still it’s rare, and usually only butches notice my existence. They seem to have a heightened “gaydar” for femmes. For me it has never (well, not since I met my soulmate when we were 18) been about finding a lover, but more about feeling less isolated as a lesbian in a straight world. A particular kind of isolation that only lesbians experience.
There was a time in my early twenties that I cut my hair short in the hopes of lesbian recognition. I hated the way it look and I hated that I felt it necessary to change something about my looks; not because I wanted to, but because I thought I HAD to in order to be part of a lersbian community. Of course I didn’t have to and, as I found out, it didn’t even work! Cutting my hair didn’t make lesbians friends suddenly appear in my life. I was young and naive, and I learned my lesson.
While I may pass as straight on the street, it doesn’t mean that I am isolated. It doesn’t matter whether a lesbian passes as straight (to straights) or not, lesbians have a way of recognising each other. Call it instinct, or gaydar (I prefer lezdar), we just do, and we form communities. Of course it is harder for some depending on location or whether they are “out”, but we have existed under the radar for millennia. Our history is as long as human history. We are not new, and we have always found ways of living as authentic a life as we can. Shame the straights make it so bloody difficult at times!!!
To be honest, I really don’t give a fuck whether a straight person thinks I’m gay or not. Occassionally a man will look at me in a certain way or try to flirt with me, but it’s not like femmes can’t handle the situation with polite honesty. It leaves us with an icky skeevy feeling, but it’s not a big deal.
It does annoy me when I meet a Lesbians who has crap lezdar, but it’s easily sorted. Once they get to know me, they can’t believe they ever thought I was straight!!!
It would hypothetically be a problem if I had the opportunity to enter a lesbian only space and I wasn’t believed to be a lesbian, but I’ve never been in that situation. Our apartment is the only lesbian-only (well, except when our parents visits) space I have been in. There are no lesbian bars/clubs/groups. Even if there were, my partner and I are such introverts that we’d probably avoid them anyway.
So, in conclusion:
Are we secret agents? Yes, because straight people are clueless!!!
Are we invisible? Not at all!!! Lesbians see us and know us for what we truly are. In the end, that’s all that matters.
Don’t let them gaslight you. You are NEVER in the wrong calling out homophobia and choosing to remove HOMOPHOBES from your social media and/or your life.
I won’t name names for family reasons. The person who wrote the following comments is not a family member but a good friend of a close family member and I don’t want to be the person to come between them. Luckily my family member in question is very supportive of me, my relationship, and wants to see us be able to legally marry. She does not see our relationship as being any less legitimate than her own.
The following screen shots show a public comment written on a thread about the same-sex marriage debate currently raging in Australia followed by parts of our subsequent conversation on Facebook Messenger.
The public comment is as follows:
Our conversation in facebook messenger, the blue bubbles are my comments:
(Comments with personal info redacted)
After she played the victim, I responded in the following way:
I’ve written about sex and mentioned that I write erotica and wanted to share some because there is such a lack of real lesbian erotica on the net. Despite being written in the first person, all my erotica is FICTION!! It is written from the point of view of a fictional character, not me.
I trembled as she gently brushed a stray hair back behind my ear. There was a fire in her eyes and I could tell that she was deliberately holding herself back. Savouring the moment, delaying her own satisfaction and fully aware of the effect she was having on me.
She had asked me to undress, and I now stood naked before her. I wanted her hands on me, arms around me, holding me up, one hand caressing the curve of my breast, her thumb teasing my already erect nipple, her other hand on my arse cheek, her fingers teasingly close…
But she merely looked at me, caressing me with no more than her eyes. Her gaze fell on my lips and I licked them subconsciously, forcing myself to remain still, to allow her this moment to study her love, her femme.
She took a step back as her eyes travelled down to take in my breasts. Usually held up by at the rigid fabric of a sports bra, they were now laid bare, full, hanging free, rising and falling slightly with my quickening breath.
Her eyes took in the curve of my waist, the softness of my belly, and finally rested on the dark curls that grew untamed. This time it was she who licked her lips, and I smiled.
I was unashamed.
She looked up and caught my eye. Her stare was penetrating and my smile faded, I could see the need in her eyes, the power of her gaze caught me by surprise, and my legs weakened as my heart began to race and I felt moisture pooling between my thighs.
“Kneel for me” she commanded, and I obeyed willingly, knowing what this meant, what she wanted me to do.
She stepped forward, her crotch a mere inch away from my mouth. I could smell her arousal and quickly unzipped her fly and pushed the denim aside, lowering her jeans just enough. Her boxers buttoned at the front and my shaking fingers struggled to release them, but I managed. I ran my fingers lightly over her dark curls, and breathed deeply, taking in her scent. I slowly pushed her lips apart with my thumb, leaned forward as she spread her legs just a little, allowing me further access. I licked her, the tip of my tongue pressing gently yet firmly against her clit, stroking her over and over, my mouth filling with her taste. My own excitement grew; I felt my cunt clenching, my clit pulsating, demanding attention. I licked her faster, harder as she began to shudder against me. She didn’t cry out, no words, but a low moan of release as I felt her cum. My tongue slowed its rhythm and I removed the pressure from her clit, lightly lapping, savouring the moment until I felt her hand on my head gently push me aside.
I remained on the floor as she buttoned up and zipped her fly. She gazed down at me, my lips dark and swollen, my face covered in her juices. I looked up at her and she could see the pleading in my eyes.
She reached down and cupped my face in her hand, her thumb tracing the outline of my lips, I licked it with my tongue, taking it into my mouth and sucking hard.
She smirked and withdrew her hand as she looked around, briefly surveying the room before coming to a decision.
“Well, I’m not going to fuck you down there on the floor am I? I want you too stand up, walk over to the dining table and bend over. Can you do that for me my love?”
Want a Part 2??
Spirituality is a tough one for lesbians. A male godhead is meaningless and the Goddesses we encounter, and many of us do go looking, are fertility deities or associated with heterosexuality. The Virgin Goddesses we perhaps can identify with, particularly Athena (above) – the Goddess of both wisdom who is also a warrior; Artemis – the Huntress worshipped by the Amazons; or Hekate – Goddess of the underworld, the crossroads, and of witches. But, those Goddesses are not us, and we are not them. They are the products of the imaginings of straight people and straight culture. Or perhaps they are ancient aliens, take your pick.
Some of us have personalities that are more spiritual than others, we seek a connection through something, whether it be wandering in the bush (forest), swimming in a stream, listening to Gregorian chants, or visiting a church. I have found a great sense of peace and wonderment in all these things, even though I feel alienated from the Catholic church I was semi-raised in (culturally more than religiously). I went through the process of confirmation, I was searching for meaning and at the time I was also reading everything I could get my hands on about Wicca & neo-paganism. I felt more connection and meaning in the story of the triple goddess, the maiden, the mother, and the crone; than I did in the Christian bible. Yet, it still wasn’t right. I couldn’t picture myself living the life of my mother & aunts, marrying a man and having babies. It felt wrong. As for spirituality in nature, well, nature can be confusing too. If I really was part of this world, this cycle of birth, reproduction, and dead, why does it feel wrong for me? I thought that maybe I am not of nature but separate from it, an oddity of sorts? What has changed my thinking, if not altogether my feelings, is accepting my own lesbian biology. Accepting that I am neither “woman” gone wrong, nor I am I a man with a woman’s body. I am a lesbian, I am just as much a part of the workings of nature as those with heterosexual biology. Yet, while I have been able to reach a point of self acceptance and pride in myself and what I am. I still wonder why. What is the purpose, what is the mechanism in nature that not only allows for, but seems to require homosexuals to be born? What is our place in this world? How do we fit into the cycle of life?
I have spoken previously in this blog about how alienating heterocentric culture is, and that also goes for religion and spirituality. Many lesbians try to fit ourselves into a set of religion beliefs and try to find meaning in heterocentric religion. Some find it healthy and helpful, but I don’t. I get what I can from myths and legends, I identify with some goddesses more than others and seek meaning through that identification. I keep searching for both historical truth and spiritual meaning.
Perhaps lesbians who feel a strong pull towards the spiritual need to form our own myths, our own origin tales, our own understanding of ourselves, rather than trying to find meaning in heterocentric gospels. Just as straight women search for religious meaning outside patriarchal deities and religious doctrine; so too lesbians need to form our own ways of spiritual connection/religion that hold true meaning for us. This way we can stop trying to fit ourselves into a heterosexual mould, and truly discover and appreciate who we really are.
Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed a repeated behaviour from straight women towards lesbians, myself included. We will politely (usually) give a lesbian perspective on a topic that concerns us, and most (not all) straight women will not only become defensive, but tell us that we are wrong. WHAT??? Look, I hate giving comparisons with racism, but these same women would never presume to tell a black woman she was wrong about black women’s experiences or black women’s issues. So, why do straight women feel that they can tell a lesbian she is wrong about lesbians? Not only about what we do/don’t think/do, but even what we are!!!!
The more I think about it, the angrier I become. Now, I am also told by straight women that I am “too angry” and that it means I am “hateful” or “not being nice”. Anger is not a sign of hatefulness or not being a nice person. Anger can be fuelled by love. If you love a person/people/cause and are passionate, how can you not feel anger? The most loving and passionate and compassionate people I know are the ones who become the most angry when they see their loved ones victimised or discriminated against. Anger at injustice is motivated by love.
I understand that straight women have been taught to stifle their anger, but don’t police lesbians’ emotional responses to homophobia. Anger is not a character flaw, it doesn’t mean we have bitter and twisted souls. It means that we feel passionately about and have love for ourselves, our partners, our friends, and lesbians as a people. It means we care deeply and will NOT be silent.
So please, listen to what we have to say, take it into account, and recognise that maybe you don’t know us better than we know ourselves!!!