08 Pride Post #3: What stream are we talking about here?


This has been percolating for a while. I think it’s relevant, given the Pride Holiday Season.

A couple months ago, a writer friend was researching an article on women’s music festivals and emailed me with some questions. She’s a married straight woman, has a very successful career, and I knew her to be insightful, intelligent, and probably more sensitive than a lot of people re the various “isms” in America (racism, sexism, etc).

I’m not much of an expert on women’s/womyn’s music festivals, having only ever attended one, so I wasn’t much help with specifics, but we talked about some general things, including why these events so important to so many lesbians. She asked “what is the need for a gay women’s festival at a time when gay women have gone so mainstream?” and cited how “accepted” Rosie, Ellen, Melissa Etheridge, and others have become.

Now as I said, this is a woman I admire and she intended no harm but what she said gave me one of those uber-queer awareness moments, you know? We’ve all had them, turned that corner and walked right into that heteronormative brick wall. Even it was constructed with the best of intentions, it’s still brick.

Which was ironic, since I had obviously internalized that “mainstream” idea to a much greater extent than I would have thought, otherwise what she said would not have impacted me the same way. It was a good reminder that we all have a lot of work to do with respect to those hetero-queer dividing lines.

Anyway, here’s part of my answer to her:

I don’t think any straight person can truly/accurately judge how “mainstream” or accepted GLBTQ people are now.

I have it pretty easy- I can be out at my job, I live in a very hippy-dippy-liberal little arty town where i don’t have to worry about looking too queer, I’m near Austin, which is groovy. Even so, there are dozens of reminders every day that I’m not like most people I am surrounded by.

Some days those are more acute than others. When my ex and I wanted to have a child? Very acute.

When my ex got cancer and had to undergo surgery, hospitalization and treatment? Very acute.

When I go visit my sister who lives in Tom DeLay’s old district east of Houston? Very acute.

When [a mutual friend who is both transgendered and lesbian] called me at 3:30 a.m. after we’d spent a night out in Austin to tell me she’d run out of gas on her way back home, and was stuck on a pitch black country highway outside of LaGrange? Very acute.

When you are “the other” and 98 percent of the people around you aren’t like you ALL THE TIME, it doesn’t much matter what Ellen or Melissa or Rosie are doing.

So yeah, being in a space like a festival, or a pride march, is a rare and exhilarating thing. One thing a lot of people mention and I’ve experienced as well, is the experience of attending a national pride march in Washington DC. Everyone drives in from their various places, then as they near DC, suddenly you see that there are more and more obviously queer/gay people passing you on the turnpike, then it’s every third car, then it’s 75 percent of the people at the rest stop, then it’s more and more and more. Then you’re in the Metro station on the way to the mall, and literally everyone you see is queer, and everyone is silly and exhilarated and high as a kite because this kind of security in numbers, experience as a majority, doesn’t happen very often.

Not trying to get all doctrinaire on you, really. It’s just that I have never once in my life felt like I was in the mainstream of much of anything. And like I said, I have it easier than most.

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I was as surprised as anyone, believe me

Major announcement here on planet virgotex: it seems that yes, the mermaids are singing to me, yes I do dare to eat that peach, spring has sprung again and love is in the air. And oh yeah, I’m hanging up that lesbian thing and tryin’ on a little May-December number. Well, maybe April-November is more appropriate.

He gets me. He really gets me. What more can I say?

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UPDATED: Just in case, for the foolish-impaired,  and to protect the innocent:  yes, this is an April Fool’s joke.  I remain one of Dorothy’s best friends and the splendid man in the photo remains an eligible bachelor.

Nope, Sen. Cornyn, I’m still single

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FYI to Texas Senator John Cornyn, I am a gay person, more specifically a lesbian. Also FYI, there was a very handsome box turtle in my yard for several days this week. Thirdly, be aware that during that entire time, neither myself or the box turtle were moved to set up housekeeping with each other. Not in the slightest.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must also reveal that the turtle suffered an untimely demise today, my at-risk-youth dog being the likely culprit (after three days of completely ignoring our guest). However, even if the turtle had stayed on indefinitely, I am fairly certain that, at best, we would have remained mere acquaintances.

Note also that I’m voting for Rick Noriega.

“yes i go there to read the articles, if you dont like it suck a d–k”

So, a few days ago, AfterEllen.com, more or less in response to (urgh) Maxim, posted its own Hot 100 list, compiled from readers’ choices.

Ways in which that list differed from Maxim’s? Well, Lindsey Lohan wasn’t voted Number One, for starters. That was the talented, hysterically funny, scrumptious, and—at least apparently — sober and almost always fully-conscious, Leisha Hailey.

Well-done there, plus she’s actually a lesbian.

lh

Other variances included the fact that 8 of the top 10 women on the lesbian list weren’t on the Maxim list and only four of the women who made Maxim‘s top 10 made the AfterEllen.com list. So, heads up and you heard it there first, lesbians and straight men aren’t the same.

So, today, there was a post about the response by straight readers to the AfterEllen list, collected from various places on the intArWebs. Apparently a few straight dudes took issue about some of the choices, while others merely waxed philosophical, in a deeply ungrammatical and poorly-spelled fashion:

  • Do lesbians have better taste in women than the typical man?
  • The AfterEllen list has a lot of women on it who are accomplished, or show feminine strength. A lot of the women were probably on Maxim‘s list at one point, but even out of the spotlight, the women still pine for them. Which brings us back to the obvious, women are experience driven.
  • I do encourage everyone to look at The Lesbian Hot 100 List via AfterEllen.com, because it does open the hetero male’s eyes to alot of hotties that we may otherwise not be exposed to.
  • Their top 10 is admirable, although I must admit that I haven’t heard of the majority of these chicks.
  • If liking Tina Fey and Kate Winslet makes me a lesbian, then I am a raging lesbian!
  • So about a month ago, maxim put out their hot100 list. I did not agree with a great deal of things about it. I especialy didnt agree with lindsay lohan being number one. Low and behold today, I find another top 100 list while I was checking out www.afterellen.com (yes its a lesbian site, yes i go there to read the articles, if you dont like it suck a d–k, I like two of the columnists) and I found the AfterEllen.com Hot 100 list. I, apparently, have a very lesbian taste in women.