I don’t have a lot of bandwidth to share today due to a cruddy stomach virus. I’d prefer to be eating soup than writing this post. But it feels necessary to show up in this space with intent and purpose.
Lesbian Visibility Day is dedicated to increasing the awareness of lesbian women and their issues.
Lesbians are often responsible for some of the most egregious violence against other queer women, notably trans women and anyone who is not a cisgender lesbian or gay woman identifying person. Lesbians like this may not perpetuate the actual violence, but they promulgate an ideology that reinforces all of the worst things people think about those other queer women and folx. This is a deep betrayal that haunts all of us.
I often describe my feminism as the 2.5 wave. I was born and raised in the second wave cultural values of the 70s and early 80’s, but I came out and found my voice in the third wave of the 90’s. My early years were defined by Maude Findlay and Margaret Atwood, but my young adult self read This Bridge Called My Back with hunger as I was introduced to Ani and The Indigo Girls.
Somewhere in all of that is the foundation for my lesbian identity. I can’t fathom lesbian identity without feminism. I get that many feminists are not lesbians, but I expect them to have a firm understanding of our identities.
So many touchstones of lesbian identity are steeped in the literal blood of trans folx, that I cannot bear to even consider them. I’m curious, yes. That’s why I publish posts like A Boomer’s Bar Life in Pittsburgh and these many diverse approaches to lesbian stories, but I don’t have deep bonds to historical spaces and venues and activities.
“Reclaim lesbian identity” makes my eyes roll as much as the perpetual need to tie lesbian identity to lesbian bars or the demand that we must somehow have a space without cisgender men to be our authentic selves. Toxic masculinity is a cancer, but we need to stop treating other women who are part of our community as if they are less pure or pose some threat to us just because they exist. That’s utter bullshit.
This is not the Lesbian Visibility Day post you might expect. Oh well …
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