Gays. Homosexuals. Lesbians.
Men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women.*
The Christian Right are torn between what they would like to see in regards to homosexuality. Half of them want us burned alive and the other half want us to just disappear into the night. Actually, some on the Christian Left want us to just disappear into the night as well. They have no problem with us or our lifestyle on spec, but it is just such a hassle having to constantly worry about being “outed” as “for the gays” in your local parish.
As a lesbian, I haven’t encountered much in the way of discrimination. The odd insult, the loss of friends, and a suspected job firing sure, but my life hasn’t been threatened. I haven’t been beaten up. I haven’t felt physically unsafe.
I have paid a price for that. It’s called “hiding”. There have been times when I have kept my mouth shut about my sexuality because it’s simply easier, or safer, to do so.
And still, I really have no idea what it is like to be discriminated against because I am gay. Lesbians may think that they are up there when it comes to discrimination, but the reality is that we know jack shit about it. The same men who are appalled by watching two men kiss, are turned on when two women kiss. The same men who feel physical ill at even the thought of one guy putting his penis in another guys butt, is quite happy to give his wife a little anal sex (and probably while doing so, he’s imagining those two lesbians kissing).
Contradictions abound when it comes to homosexual discrimination. And women, gay or not, always get the better end of the deal.
For a white girl, I fit into a lot of minority groups. I’m Wiccan. I’m a lesbian. I have a mental illness. I have Aspergers. I have a physical disability. I am female.
And while that female part of me does present it’s own discrimination issues, when it comes to homosexuality, us lesbians get off pretty lightly.**
So I am writing this blog to let my male homosexual friends know this: with all those other battles I am fighting, I don’t have much time for yours. And I am really sorry for that. I wish I could be at every gathering, and rip it up every homophobic arsehole out there, but I simply don’t have the time. I do want to acknowledge this though – as a lesbian, I don’t know what you go through. I don’t “get it”, because while “homosexual” may be a term that applies to us both, the way in which we are discriminated against because of it varies greatly and there really is no comparison between the amount of shit each of our collective groups cop.
Sometimes I find comfort in people who get it enough to know that they don’t get it. I am hoping that by admitting I don’t get it, even as a lesbian, it may offer just a little comfort to you. And a little education to others.
My thoughts are with you all, my brothers. xoxo
For S, who I have never met, yet love like a brother.
* I understand that I am leaving out a whole heap of other “types” of sexualities and I have done this deliberately, because the issues they face are far more complicated, and this post isn’t. The general sentiment however, is the same – which is to say that I know what it’s like to be a lesbian in this world, but that doesn’t mean I can speak for the LGBTQIA community.
** I know lesbians that have had their houses burned down, and I know lesbians that have been beaten to within an inch of their life. My statement here is in regards to lesbians as a collective.
Note: Just so that my “friends” in the LGBTQIA community don’t all get on their high horses just yet, an adage, if I may… I have actually gone through more discrimination from the LGBTQIA community than I ever have from the straight community. Well… maybe not more – I haven’t been fired or anything – but it sure as hell hurt more!!! I married a straight male. I have my reasons, and it’s doesn’t mean I’m straight. It also doesn’t mean I’m bi. It means a lesbian married a straight male. And I am hardly the first to do so. Yet I have been abused five ways from breakfast from the LGBTQIA community for doing so. I don’t feel welcome in that community, and I’m sure as hell not welcome in the straight community per se… At least you guys have each other. Remember that the next time you make generalisations about the straight community. We’re all human. We all suck in our own ways. We all need to look in the mirror occasionally.