Dear Generic Lesbian, Standing-in-for-all-lesbians Lesbian, Capital “L” Lesbian, Lesbian Captain Sir,
as a bisexual/ femme/ queer woman
via Facebook when I stumble across lesbian sites and lesbian events like http://www.lowdown.org.nz that extend an invitation to me as an afterthought “lesbians and their friends (of both genders)…” (and believe me this is not a new phenomenon)
I wonder if you have noticed that I have been out as long as you, marched on the same parades as you, danced at the same parties, and fought the same fights. We have been lovers for a long time now, long-term friends, and once I even married you. There is no running away from this.
When I am invited, but the event or site is not “for me”, it is not “us”, I know that you do not see me as equal to you. A lover certainly. Perhaps even a partner. But not some-one that you need to recognise or give space too. Not “one of the team” in the same way you see your butch mates. That you see me as circumspect, able to slip away, able to “pass”, not someone who is worth investing in.
I am angry and I am over being polite. I have spent 20 years speaking queer politics out loud. I am femme and feminist and I have done my own work and I am not going to carry your butch insecurities for you.
So let’s get real clear about where this lies:
1.The fact that you forget me because I am not “the same” as you makes you the worst kind of lazy, egotistical lover.
2. The fact that I lose queer credibility because you are afraid that I might leave you for a man is outdated, possessive and misogynist. We do not own our lovers. Who else I love is nobody’s business but my own.
3. If your sense of butchness/ masculinity is not enough for you regardless of who else I love or have loved, then that is your problem. And also the problem with butchness/ masculinity.
I respect and value myself enough not to invest in intimate relationships with people I can’t trust. That goes for political alliances too. Until you can treat me as an equal, not as second-best, you can go your way and I will go mine.