Hey Jackie, You’re Not A Lesbian, Also We’re Not Your Chemistry Experiment

LESBIAN ‘PHASES’:

Jackie Clune, who I guess is famous in England or something, wrote an essay for the Daily Mail about how she used to be a lesbian but isn’t anymore. Just after reading the headline — “How I went from committed lesbian to a happily married mother of four” — I obvs had a lot of issues with this article. But it is SO MUCH WORSE once you read it. You should do that now or something, so you know what the eff I’m talking about.

Top 10 Most Unbelievable Sentences/Paragraphs In This Stupid Article:

1. “I had studied feminist literature at university and it opened my eyes to the possibility of sexuality as a life choice.”

2. For I can honestly say that I never felt the need to ‘come out’ as gay or straight — I simply decided to fall in love with women.

3. It’s not that I stopped liking men, just that I felt a relationship with a woman would be a richer experience. After all, given the choice I would choose a woman over a man for a really great chat, an inspiring conversation or to share emotional problems with. A physical relationship with a woman seemed a logical progression.

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4. Can you imagine waking up beside a woman when you’ve both got raging PMT?

5. I wanted a bit more difference, a little less talking and a bit more edge and my relationships often paid the price.

6. I had been so committed, I even bought a flat with one of my partners.

7. Was I picking the wrong women or was I simply not cut out to be a lesbian?

8. But I suspect the simple truth is that I no longer felt I needed to be defined by my sexuality. I had outgrown lesbianism.

9. This may sound absurd, but calling myself a lesbian was almost like calling myself a punk or a goth.

10. All I can say is that I believe not every gay person is gay for life. In particular, I believe that many women are capable of feeling attracted to other women – to be with someone who believes it’s perfectly normal to talk about how you feel and wants to know every single thought that passes through your head.

BONUS! 11. Actually I have never thought of myself as bisexual. And I certainly don’t now that I am married. That would be tantamount to admitting that I am thinking of being unfaithful with a woman, which has never been the case.

Most of those sentences are improperly punctuated, and I want you all to know that I know that. This is self explanatory, right? Do I need to say more? This woman is so ridiculous, I can’t even process it. My feelings mostly consist of: you can be friends with women without sleeping with them, feeling unfulfilled by women and longing for the “simplicity” of men probs means you’re straight, bisexuality DOES NOT mean you want to cheat on your husband with women, and homosexuality isn’t a culture you adopt just for funsies to be alternative in your 20s. She clearly misunderstood everything in that college class about feminism and sexuality. I’m glad she’s gotten through her little lesbian “phase,” get it, it’s like lunar phases because all women are ruled by the moon and are crazy emotional.

Does that cover it? What do you guys think? (@dailymail)

GAY PARENTS:

We’ve covered a lot of this territory before, but it’s worth bringing up again, especially while gay adoption is still illegal in certain states. Basically, gay parents are great parents! There are many reasons why. Unplanned pregnancies are pretty rare, so gay couples are almost always quite prepared to raise kids. Gay people are real, compassionate humans which is mostly what it takes to be a good parent. Studies show that kids raised by gay parents are often happier and well-adjusted. So yeah, let’s toast all the LGBT parents out there! Keep on raising awesome people! (@cnn)

BOOKS:

A gay teen from Kentucky has started a viral campaign against his school’s library for not including gay books. This story combines a lot of our favorite things: out teens, books, youth activism, and the Internet!

“The world needs more librarians who serve the purpose of finding the right book to put in the right person’s lap,” Brent blogged. “There are tons of gay teens, struggling to find a group to fit in. LGBT YA lit helps us find out that no, we aren’t alone and no, we aren’t worthless or disgusting. It helps us discover that we are part of a group. The LGBT group.”

Check out his blog, which is entitled Naughty Book Kitties, <3 forevs. Also look at that photo of him! He looks so ready for battle.

UTAH:

Christine Johnson, a Utah representative who recently served as a surrogate mom for two gay men, is moving to South Carolina. She’ll be the executive director of South Carolina Equality. She also plans to come back a few times to see the baby. (@

EUROPE:

The European Court of Human Rights decided that countries in Europe don’t have to grant same-sex marriage rights.

The court said that individual countries were best placed to decide on their own laws on this this issue.

Two Austrian men brought a case to the court saying their fundamental rights were breached because Austria does not recognise same sex marriage.

But the court said there was no Europe-wide consensus on the issue.

PETITIONS:

The US Supreme Court has ruled that names on anti-gay petitions in Washington State are indeed public record. The high-court ruling against Protect Marriage Washington, which organized a petition drive for a vote to repeal the state’s domestic partnership law, says disclosing names on a petition for a public referendum does not infringe on the signer’s freedom of speech enough to warrant overturning the state’s disclosure law. (@bostonherald)

DADT:

Soledad O’Brien sank her teeth into the DADT issue as it currently stands, which is basically in limbo until December. There isn’t much new info here, but we always love testimonials from soldiers who have experienced the problems with this policy firsthand. It really brings everything home.

Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 131 articles for us.

53 Comments

  1. Jackie Clune, don’t you understand that there’s a whole letter for you? Q for questioning! You’re allowed to question your sexuality and have the answer be you’re straight. That doesn’t mean you have to confuse the other sexualities while doing it. You can just be straight. It’s okay. Do you need a hug?

  2. Jackie is all over the place. She says “I can honestly say that that, although I was 34, this had nothing to do with my biological clock.” Then a few paragraphs later, “Within a year I found myself pregnant. Our daughter was born and 11 months later I was even more shocked when I discovered I was pregnant again – with triplets.”

    Jackie sure has lots of shocking surprises in her life. Too bad she doesn’t say “gee, I haven’t a bloody clue about who the hell I am, maybe I’m not needed as a lifestyle or sexuality expert?”

    Wonder why she hasn’t changed her name, at least to Jacqui?

  3. I read the Daily Mail article earlier today. What’s worse – the idiocy of Clune, the trashy lesbianphobic British newspapers who print stuff like this, or the new Tom Cruise movie. You know it is bad when the new Tom Cruise movie comes a distant third for biggest piece of junk this weekend.

  4. Oh, I am *so* looking forward to my Dad reading that article and being like, see, you did make a choice!

    If anything, that article is an argument for why it’s *not* a choice. She chose to be a lesbian but didn’t like it! Just like when I “chose” to be straight I hated it/myself.

    Bite me, Clune.

  5. Not everyones lives and sexualities are the same. Some people are born gay, some become gay in later life and some are gay and then become straight. Why shouldn’t people be allowed to move fluidly through sexualities in this way if they are capable of doing so? who are we to judge who is a legitimate lesbian or not.

    • I have no problem with self identification. Jackie is totally free to follow her heart and I’m down with that. I also think that how one approaches their own sexuality can change over time. However, her ideas about bisexuality are really ridiculous. They’re holding her back. Everything she says sounds like she is either bisexual (which is great! She should accept that) or she is mostly straight. I’m not trying to speak for her or give her a label, but if I try to interpret her words, that’s what I come up with. Also it’s worth noting that some women have valid reasons to embrace lesbianism beyond sexuality. Sexual assault, for example. And that’s also totally fine! What i object to in Jackie’s case is her insistence that her experience discounts theories about sexuality, when I think if she was less confused about bisexuality, it would solve her discrepancies.

  6. Jackie Clune: single handedly making Britain look like it’s as ridiculous and backwards as other people think it is. (Then again, the Daily Mail gives that a good shot, too.)

    I’m going to wrap myself in a Snuggie, read ‘Beebo Brinker’ and listen to ‘Following in Father’s Footsteps’ on loop until the apocalypse comes. Who’s with me?

    • I’m surprised no one has mentioned this song:

      It is well known in the UK that the Daily Mail is pretty right-wing, and is a joke of a newspaper.
      The only people that take it seriously are those not worth dealing with.

  7. The hours I’ve wasted shaking my fist at the Daily Mail website and rating comments up and down, while simultaneously feeling ashamed I might be helping them profit from advertising revenue.

    I’m so embarrassed for anyone outside the UK to see this. It’s like a racist, xenophobic, homophobic, bigoted, scaremongering old relative who you hope will hurry up and die of a heart attack after some gay asylum seekers moving in next door.

  8. I’m afraid saying Jackie is straight might shed terrible light on straight women if not on humankind… straight women don’t necessarily feel the need to be defined by their sexuality. Also: sexuality as a life choice? As in “whether to have a sexuality or not? Whether to have a life or not?” ?!?!

    I think Jackie is asexual if not dead (as are probably all the people who keep saying one chooses their sexuality). The overall impression is of someone who hates women (PMT? = evil!) and the only way they can have a relationship with them is by “rationally deciding” to have one.

    Women make great chat buddies, yeah sure… except some Jackie Clune, that is.

    Thanks for ruining my Saturday afteroon.

  9. I’m surprised that no one mentioned that if Ms. Clune was doing her Women’s Studies stuff in the 1970s, she may have been exposed to the lesbian feminist movement, which said that being a lesbian was a political choice (for good or for ill).

    I would also like to put forward that sexual orientation as we conceive it is a pretty new idea – arising towards the end of the 19th century – early 20th century. Throughout history, homosexuality and homosexual acts have been treated in very different ways by different cultures.

    In mainstream liberal Western culture, there is a tendency to say that a person’s sexual activities and who they’re with is basically an inborn trait. Sometimes, I think this is a bit disingenuous – there are people whose sexual orientations are fluid throughout their lives, while some people knew at 3 years old that they were attracted to people of [insert gender here] and they stick to that forever. And yes, there are people today who say they did choose their sexual orientation.

    I say to each their own.

    • I think we should not confound having a sexual orientation with following it and act accordingly. You can choose whether to follow your orientation, the way you choose to follow your dreams and develop your talents and inclinations; but the latter is something you’re born with. Granted, you might be born with no sexual inclination at all, or with pansexuality or bisexuality or queerness or whatever. But your choice is limited to your action, to the consistency of your action with your orientation; not to the orientation itself.

      I agree that sexual orientation (or rather the possibility to follow it) is a rather new idea. And so is the pursuit of happiness and of individual well-being. But the way Jackie tells the story, it is not so much “I finally decided to follow my orientation” but rather “I have no idea who I am and what I want but this is why you should NOT be a lesbian” or something.

      • TBH, I actually disagree. I think that for some people it’s an inborn trait, but I also believe in human agency and I don’t see the point in arguing with other peoples’ experiences and I could go on but I’m supposed to be working now.

        Who knows what our kids and grandkids will be saying about our “backwards” ideas of sexuality in the future? 😉

    • We definitely had a conversation about lesbian feminism! But then we realized she was doing all this in the late ’80s and ’90s, so I didn’t bring it up. It would’ve made a lot more sense to me if lesbian feminism had been her reasoning.

      • Lesbian feminist or not, she is ridiculous! She implies that bisexuality requires cheating plus she bought a house together with someone she later realized had PMT and was more talkative than she liked… AS IF you need to buy a house with someone to get to know these obscure and profound personality traits…. come on. Oh, and this housemate was also not enough “different” nor “edgy”… *speechless*

  10. just to say..although she describes herself as a swtand up and actress..ive never even heard of her..this ex lesbian! but she sure did get her name around now…what a bizzarre rant to have all those years after finding `mr right’
    i think ms clunes fancied drumming up some self publicity..she is right about one thing though..her comments are absurd!

  11. Thought I’d add a bit to the news of the Supreme Court ruling that says petitions as public record. It’s a really good decision for gay rights advocates, although it might not be totally obvious why without a little background info.

    So, there are the more obvious reasons re: basic issues of accountability and transparency in law-making.

    BUT, there is also a less obvious, but very important, reason: anti-gay petitions are almost always run by wealthy interest groups that pay people to collect signatures. A big (known) problem with these paid signature-collectors is that they trick voters into signing their petitions. For example, a voter might be mislead into thinking they are signing a petition for animal rights, when they are in fact signing a petition for anti-gay legislation. This sort of corruption would be much harder to uncover, and so prevent, if names on petitions are not public record.

    So to sum that up — the Supreme Court ruling helps prevent corruption that aids wealthy interests groups (think religious right) that use petitions to make anti-gay law.

    Thanks, autostraddle, for highlighting this news… and pretty much everything else you put on your awesome website.

  12. I live in Bellingham, WA, which is pretty liberal and etc. My favorite is when I was holding hands with my girlfriend going into a grocery store and someone asked us if we wanted to sign the “anti-gay petition.”

    There wasn’t a witty rejoinder I could even come up with. This guy was a toooooool.

  13. WHAT THE FUCK EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS I cannot even talk to you about this

    Also, in July ’93 the Daily Mail ran the headline “Abortion hope after ‘gay genes’ finding,” which is like 98% of what you need to know about them. And they have an ongoing commitment to analysing every inanimate object on earth in terms of whether it causes or cures cancer — http://thedailymailoncologicalontologyproject.wordpress.com/

    I find reading Daily Mail articles tends to make me want to rinse out my brain with soap. It is a racist, misogynistic, ableist, transphobic, homophobic joke of a rag. My parents get it every Sunday. :/

  14. Wow Clune is insane! I cant believe she just decided to be a lesbian! How does one even do that? She seems confused and I feel sorry for her. The article was just ridiculous, absurd, ludicrous, and all the other appropriate synonyms.

  15. Hm, that European Court of Human Rights decision is very, very odd considering another recent decision where they granted housing to the surviving partner of a gay man in Poland who had petitioned for ownership of his late partner’s apartment under this convoluted property inheritance law. I am almost certain the language in that decision talked about how the definition of “spouse” cannot be construed to deny anyone their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

    On a totally unrelated note, a friend just texted me to say that Whitney from The Real L Word is standing 20 feet away from her in San Francisco. It’s a small lesbian world indeed.

  16. Comment from London

    The Daily Mail his a horrid rag of a newspaper, often belittled on TV. They like to create as much uproar as possible.

    Hardly anyone here knows who this woman is nor do we care.

  17. but there waaaaas a consensus about these things in europe, suckers!!! this is so ridiculous. hey people, let’s be super inclusive and have all these human rights and stuff and oh, now let us take that away from gay people because we know how gay-friendly every single country in Europe is.
    ???
    those laws exist because we’re discriminated against and this is a real life issue affecting people in their everyday lives. I had hope regarding those laws, that Germany would at some point be forced to have genderneutral marriage (as it’s called in sweden), but apparently this won’t happen… just had to think about how german couples were told to file lawsuit not in Germany but at the European Court of I don’t know, human rights maybe, because they have to pay more taxes than straight couples, regardless if there are kids in the family or not…

  18. I can’t believe I read the whole thing!

    This Jackie person seemed to be woefully misinformed about what being a lesbian is, even while she “was” a lesbian. My favorite line is where she says, “Unlike most men, women, of course, offer each other endless support and there’s hardly ever any lack of communication.” Oh that’s right! Because women love to fight and are ALWAYS jealous and always always want to talk about their emotions. Hey, can you fill my tight-lipped, emotionally unavailable ex-girlfriends in on that, because apparently they’re doing the whole dyke thing wrong in your eyes.

  19. It’s ten past two in the morning and I can’t sleep. So I got up, decided to catch up on Autostaddle and just have discovered the link to the European Court of Human Rights about civil partnership.

    It was just today when I was walking past the Dáil (our government offices in Dublin) as a bunch of protesters were demonstating against the civil partnership bill. The bill proposed by the government is nothing better than a “glorified dog licence” as phrased by our wonderful Senator David Norris. There are no provisions made for the children of gay parents or for gay adoption, as what a family constitutes (hetreosexual, need you ask) is written into our constitution. It suggests that the only reason that queer indidviuals want to marry/partnership-ed is due to finanacial or economic security.

    As I walked past governement offices today I thought that the only way such draninian Catholic ideology (i.e. the granting of a partnership that acknowledges the family in any shape or form and is based upon true equality) could be overruled would be through the European Courts and I had a little hope.

    Now it is ten past two in the morning and I have the sads. I was going to comment on the eejit in the Daily Mail but, alas I have been failed by the only institution that can dictate to our government and override their out-dated and Vatican led ways.

    Time to fix another whiskey. Boo.

  20. In England political lesbianism was much bigger and was almost mandatory for serious feminists – to the point that women who had sex with women were at times attacked by crowbar weilding radical feminist mobs to keep them safe and hospitalized as they otherwise would rape each other. lgbt centers and funding was taken from the people who were dressing in ways that made the newly minted women identified women feel uncomfortable, especially when they discovered that they kept insisting that they were born with desires that were not that different from the ones that the recruitment drives were telling women they were going to clean up as the source of all evil in the world. In feminist circles in England and to a lesser extent Canada and Australia the idea that one could be a feminist and not claim to be a lesbian along with in certain circles bitterly fighting against the monsters who refused to accept that a proper lesbian relationship was absolutely free of the sort of disgusting physical stuff they joined up to get away from. In one book on the subject of the ways queer women were traitors a triumphant feminist declared that the existence of penetrative sex toys as well as the idea that lesbians might engage in various acts involving penetration was proof that the normal definition of lesbianism as a woman homosexual was impossible as to her the whole reason to be a lesbian was that intercourse was betrayal of all women and avoiding it was the main reason to be a lesbian… She in fact claimed gay men invented the myth of women who had sex with women to justify the perversions that they were as the dark center of the patriarchal system constantly using to harm women. I also remember some fairly famous British feminist complaining about the fact that many feminists look up to Dworkin despite the fact that she was a collaborator who kept engaging in the oppression of women through sexual acts with a man and basically insisted that only by refusing to have anything to do with men and calling it lesbianism as a way to get funding for yourself can a true feminist live. In that climate the idea of women who have always been heterosexual calling themselves ex lesbians is an eventual common occurrence… oh and these lesbian feminist were very much against bisexual women to the point of objecting to the inclusion of bisexuals in the community as they claimed that the interest of such women was fundamentally anti everything they stood for and certainly should not be allowed into the gay and lesbian centers they just had managed to get safe for their children through driving off the dangerous looking women who wore leather jackets and who acted in the most unladylike and tried to have disgusting things like safe sex workshops and looked at other women in very inappropriate ways….

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