I don’t want to comment much on this, since I think it speaks for itself. However, if you’ve ever wondered why some queer women disappear from their LG(bt) communities if they enter into different-sex relationships?
There was an article posted on AfterEllen yesterday: Sheryl Swoopes’ comes out as NSGAA (not so gay after all). It appears that Swoopes is an American basketball player who was in an reasonably high-profile relationship with another woman for several years. The article author just found out that Swoopes is now engaged to a man.
Normally, when I find out that a person is engaged to another person, the first word out of my mouth is “congratulations”.
Here’s what the linster, the author of this post, had to say:
I am not thrilled to learn that Sheryl is with a man. I don’t feel betrayed or anything, just a little sad — not for her, but for myself.
And here are a few tidbits from the comments:
I just wish bisexuals would label themselves accurately or not label themselves at all, calling yourself a lesbian when you’re not only reinforces the myth that lesbians can be “turned”, which is really frustrating to those of us who genuinely are lesbians and have the validity of our sexual orientation constantly questioned… I’m thinking the only reason she dated a woman because she was disillusioned with men
I was thrilled when she came out as a lesbian. Now I’m sad… I just want cool, ACTUAL lesbians on Team Lesbo! It gives us fantastic press (ha!) especially when someone femme comes out, but if she “turns” straight again, it’s game over. It really reinforces the lesbians just need good d**k
Ultimately when a woman decides to backtrack on her sexual orientation by dating a man and denouncing her lesbianism it doesn’t just affect her, it affects lesbians everywhere, that’s the way it is.
Mislabeling does effect the lesbian community. The effect is very subtle but it is there and thinly veiled in many conversations I have had with Heterosexuals. Mainly men.
her identification as a Lesbian and then engagement to a man will reinforce the mistaken idea that lesbians can be turned or “cured”
Isn’t that a bit selfish and disingenous though? Identifying as “lesbian” when you (general you that is) know your sexuality is not quite…absolute? Not only it does perpetuate the stereotype that lesbians can be changed with just the right man, but it kind of makes you look well…wishy-washy. It’s one thing to do what you like, and completely another to take an action that hurts others as well.
considering the marginalization of LGBT people and the importance of visibility, I think it’s disingenuous to make a “choice” to be gay (SS’s words, not mine) then “choose” to dip back into hetero life.
I may respect her choice, but I have lost all respect for her as any kind of role model.
You are possibly right – that we labeled her a lesbian, but she did accept a job shilling for Olivia Cruises. This is from Olivia’s website, “Olivia Travel, the premiere lesbian travel company, provides amazing cruise and resort vacations for lesbians worldwide.” LESBIANS worldwide… Olivia doesn’t advertise themselves to be a bisexual, loving-this-woman-here-and-now, etc. type of company. It is for LESBIANS.
I think I’ll leave it at that.