When gay women get boyfriends: more lesbian biphobia from AfterEllen.

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.

When gay women get boyfriends: more lesbian biphobia from AfterEllen.

Yes, I take this personally: bi stereotypes in queer spaces.

So, tonight I was going to write a post about food ethics and part-time herbivory, and possibly round it off with a pretty photo of the delicious lentil moussaka that I just made. However, while I was waiting for the moussaka to bake*, I happened upon a post over on AfterEllen that got me all cranky. See, I really don’t like it when people go around telling me how I can and can’t identify. I really don’t like it when people say that my identity isn’t real, that it’s absolutely fine for them to talk about how it’s not real and to talk shit about people like me. And I really, really don’t like it when they also say that it’s not okay for me to be upset by this.
Which is why I did not like the recent post by Ariel Schrag, Comics ‘n Things: Queer identities in comics.
Now, there were two major sections to this article, which was about Erika Moen’s comic DAR. In the second section she criticises Moen’s attitudes towards transmen. While I think the whole issue of gender and attraction is complicated as all hell and that people should be able to express their gendered preferences, I’m also well aware that there can also be a hell of a creepy (not to mention disrespectful) element to the way that people talk about their attraction to trans people, and that is Not Okay. Nope. Not good. But in this, me and Schrag are in agreement.
My problem is with the first 3 pages of the article. Schrag talks disparagingly about Moen’s experiences as a lesbian who finds herself in love with a man, and the complications of navigating this as a queer-identified person with a big personal investment in the gay community. And then she says that, well, it’s absolutely fine for the gay community to be resentful of her, because after all she has all this het privilege now. And that Moen now has no right to claim a queer identity. And no right to have a hard time with all of this, and to talk about having a hard time. And no right to talk about being happy in her relationship.

You know something? No. Just, no.
If Moen says that it was harder to deal with falling for a guy when she ID’d as gay than to deal with coming out as gay in the first place? Then it was harder. I’ve been there, it’s fucking hard. It’s a hell of a lot harder to come out as something where you don’t get to have a nice neat pre-packaged community of people like you who have clearly signposted places to hang out. I was talking about this with a friend of mine** who put it like this:

“oh no my mother is displeased but all of my friends are incredibly supportive!”
“oh look all my friends are kind of tossing vicious slurs at me.”
“…but my mother’s less disappointed, so WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE WRONG”

Which seems to me like a rather succinct representation of the whole thing.

But yes. Not cool, Schrag. Seriously.

And any other points I would like to make are going to have to wait, because the timer just went off on the oven and it’s Delicious Moussaka O’Clock.

*it smells yummy. Yummy, I tell you!
**who insisted on either remaining anonymous or having an obscene pseudonym. Prudey McPruderson over here has decided that this means anonymity. So there.

Yes, I take this personally: bi stereotypes in queer spaces.