Write something from a dyke perspective, they reckon. What’s that? I suppose I have a permanent lesbian’s eye view, being a lesbian and all, but what makes it different to heterovision?
Through the glass dyke-ly I see a world that’s far too diverse to bother with closets, but we do. Everyone has secrets. When Michael Stipe came out he said he was fed up being made to feel guilty, when he wasn’t ashamed of being gay, he just wanted to keep his private life private. Michael has a point, but it just doesn’t work while lesbians are still being raped to cure them etc (insert list of homophobic crimes here).
Still, responsibility can be a weighty matter and one doesn’t always want to stand up and be counted. Sometimes one would far rather keep the head down and the curtains drawn.
I’m out and I rarely encounter problems as a result (but then, I’m one of those amazingly marvellous people who everyone loves. Old ladies are constantly grabbing my chin and cooing, small children follow me; that kind of thing). Someone threatened to beat me up on a Greenpoint sidewalk once, but I was pissed and laughed and he evaporated.
I was a lot more fiery about it all in my youth, to the extent where even my nearest and queerest became rapidly fed up with it. It’s comfortable to join a tribe – march with it, dance with it and shag its ears off, but sooner or later (hopefully) the tribe bursts out of the ghetto and is not only defined by its sexuality.
I’m considering customising one of those “nobody knows I’m a lesbian” t-shirts to read “nobody cares I’m a lesbian.” Now that’d be cool.
Anyway, a month or two back, a magazine declared that ‘lesbians are the new black’ referring, of course, to the fashion adage and ironically creating another minority pun. I wonder if any black people complained. The point is, as a dyke, I don’t feel particularly victimised; I feel like an MTV star (overexposed and inane?).
Alright then, everyone knows I’m a lesbian (gasp) and it doesn’t seem to matter to many of them. The ones that felt uncomfortable eventually drifted off or were amputated. There are some family members who never mention the fact, but that’s fine too – I’d really rather not know about their sex lives either. I recently came out as a country music fan and let me tell you, I get a whole lot more flak for that. There aren’t even any support groups.
I don’t even give a toss about the demise of lesbian magazines, quite frankly my dears – I just want to see more lesbians in the mainstream press. Let’s subvert the mainstream, ghettoes should only ever be waystations on the way to freedom.
I’m outa here – now where did I leave my lesbian sunglasses?