Monday, January 16, 2012

More things not to say to a lesbian

4.Are you hitting on me/are you attracted to me? Unless this is a prelude to flowers and a kiss, save it. If I haven't expressed a romantic interest in you, I probably don't feel one (or I'm horribly afraid of the inevitable rejection and months of sobbing into a pint of Chunky Monkey that would follow). Please don't assume that I like ALL ladies, just like I don't assume that my straight sisters like ALL guys, or that my pansexual friends like ALL EVERYONE (though I do know one pan friend who would probably cop to that. She's even into trees).
5. So, what do lesbians think about (insert topic here)? I'm not the spokesperson for All Lesbiandom. My turn is the last week in March (of course we rotate turns; we're lesbians!)--ask again then. But seriously, there is no monolithic Lesbian Opinion, just like there isn't any monolithic Female Opinion, or Indigenous Peoples Opinion, or whatever. Feel free to ask about what I feel as an individual, though...I have lots of awesome opinions to share.
6. Were you sexually abused/did you have a domineering mother/blah blah blah? That's actually and emphatically none of your business, unless we're very close friends and I've indicated I'm interested in discussing this, or you're my therapist. Let's assume for the sake of this that you're neither. What I think you're getting at is: did I have some experience that 'turned' me? I think it's safe to say that nature plays a big role in sexual orientation (as opposed to nurture, which also plays a role, but probably a smaller one). Not to be crass, but if sexual abuse caused homosexuality, I would have a much easier time finding dates; as for the 'domineering mother' hypothesis, please--come with me into the twenty-first century. We have iPhones and fat-free frozen yogurt and a thousand other small miracles. Leave the seventies behind.
7. You just haven't met the right guy yet. Right. I've just been going through this little phase for the past fifteen years. I'm sure someday my prince will come to me on a white horse, in a cloud of Axe body spray, biceps bulging as he pulls open his shirt to reveal a chest forested with hair as thick as--hold on a minute, I just threw up in my mouth a little.
8. Can I watch? A ha ha ha...NO.
9. My girlfriend and I (ALWAYS asked by a guy) are looking for someone for a threesome..? Oh, fun. May I suggest you invite a close mutual friend to join you, or failing that, hire an escort/prostitute to assist you in your endeavor? Because, you see, I'm not into guys, I don't know either of you from Eve, and even if I either of those first two statements were incorrect, I'm still not a fantasy-fulfillment machine. I'm a person. Don't make me feel objectified and gross.
10. [Assorted anti-LGBT blustering...defend traditional marriage...homosexual agenda...blah blah...bluster bluster] Not even worth a response.

10 Things NOT to Say To A Lesbian

I realize many, if not most, people are trying to be sensitive. The majority of these questions come from what I call 'the innocently clueless.' But that said, there are several things I'm tired of explaining, and a number of questions I'm tired of hearing. Genuine attempts to connect and honest efforts to understand are welcome; outmoded (ie, 1950s) expectations and outright asshattery are not. Clip this out and put it in your wallet or stick it on your fridge as a reference. So, in no particular order:
1. But you don't LOOK like a lesbian! Yeah, I had the giant 'Lez' tattoo zapped off my forehead didn't go with my glasses. All right, just kidding. I know what you mean: I don't look like a pre-op Chastity Bono. I have long hair, wear skirts on occasion, and have been known to keep lipstick and mascara in my bag (though it's a backpack and not a purse). Lesbians, just like straight and bi women, run the gamut from Portia-deRossi-femme to kd lang butch. Take-home message? Don't make assumptions. If you could tell just by looking, I wouldn't have such a hard time finding dates.
2. (In regards to a relationship): So which one of you is the man? -See also the next question. Um. Neither of us is 'the man.' That's what makes us lesbians, actually: the fact that both of us are ladies. Some women identify as butch (more masculine) and femme (more feminine) but if that's what you mean, then those are the terms you should use. There are also plenty of folks who don't subscribe to the whole butch/femme thing. Do you mean who's the dominant personality? Who opens doors and pulls out chairs? Who usually initiates sex? Quite possibly both or neither. Just like, y'know, lots of heterosexual relationships.
3. So how can two women have sex? With finesse and skill. As most people living in this century are aware, there are lots of things people can do in bed (or on the kitchen table, or in a secluded park) besides 'sticking it in.' There are, in fact--please sit down as I break this to you--many, many sex acts that do not depend on the presence of a penis. Though if we want a penis, we can generally drop by a novelty shop and pick one up in exactly the dimensions, textures and colors we want.