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!!!