Sure, we’re in the news all the time doing newsy things, like passing laws and coming out while famous, but sometimes it feels like queer women and their first-person feelings don’t exist on the internet outside of our little bubble. Other times, it feels like cyberspace can’t get enough of us! It’s about time, too, because it’s always been obvious to us that descriptions of queer-lady feelings make for great articles. Here’s a round up of lady blogs and mainstream websites/newspapers that are recently abuzz with words straight from the mouths of queer girls. But some of these had me raising my eyebrows pretty hard, so I’m interested to hear what you think in the comments.
1. 5 Things Never to Say to Lesbian Moms, on The Stir
“Which one if you is the real mom?”
2. Separating the fact from lesbian fiction, on Star Observer
“Lesbian sex is soft and gentle. Bollocks. Well it is, sometimes. But it is sometimes aggressive and animalistic. It’s not like we don’t have sex with men because they’re too rough, we don’t have sex with men because they’re not women. Get it. Chicks can maul.”
3. Girl Talk: I’m A Lesbian Who Loves Channing Tatum, on The Frisky
“When I came out as a lesbian, my mom cited my rabid N’Sync fandom as evidence that I was obviously mistaken. She was certain that my liking a group of effeminate, nearly prepubescent boys, gyrating to songs about feelings was indicative of my heterosexuality. I’ve used that story as the punch line to my coming out for years. But just recently, I’ve found myself yet again defending my sexual preferences to my own peers in light of some my pop culture life choices, namely ‘Magic Mike.'”
4. First Time For Everything: Hooking Up With A Woman, on The Frisky
“I’m a different person in bed with a woman than I am with a man. But the intensity of sexual desire felt so much the same. And the longing I felt for her and her body after we parted that night felt so much the same, too.”
5. My Lady-Date Is Hotter Than Me And I’m Trying To Be An Adult About It, on xoJane
“I think all the people I date — and, let’s be real, most of my friends — are hot like burning. Dating Alison is the first time, though, that I’ve ever had people consistently meet my partner and immediately turn to me as soon as they leave the room to inform me how smokin’ she is. Guys, ladies, other folks, it doesn’t matter: the minute Al goes in search of a whiskey ginger, they’re telling me all about how lucky I am to be kissing that face.”
Things Never to Say to Lesbian Moms is spot on. I’m probably older than most of your readership (52) and my kids are 25 and 23, it’s sad that the same questions are still being asked. I largely raised my kids as a single mom, but now I have a partner who is my kids’ stepmom. There are still some people who question that and imply that since we are lesbians, she’s not ‘really’ their stepmom. Geez! Also, the other four questions, yes, had all of them asked of me at one time or another, the one that hurt most was ‘aren’t you afraid your kids might turn out queer?’ Why ever would that matter to me??
I totally understand! I’m a lesbian step-mother but I always refer to my not-so-little ones as my kids and not my step-kids. We get all sorts of dumb questions.
I appreciate the indignant spirit of the “everyone still gets to be called a MOM” answer in the “Things Never to Say to Lesbian Moms” article, but it’s blind to the fact that sometimes a person will actually prefer to be called “dad” or “fish” or “ma-da” instead of a conventional variation of “mother” in the context of their lesbian parenting situation, and that choice of language does not take away from that parent’s nurturing role in their child’s life.
Does anyone know of any current project profiling different stripes of queer parents? This seems overdue.
hm that’s not a bad idea
Yep. Definitely agree. You can have two moms who are ladies, or a mom and a dad who are ladies, or a mom and a dad who are a lady and a genderqueer/butch type person, or various names for various other parental situations. Personally, I have no idea what I want to be called. Um…”papa”? “Dad”? Even “mama”? THESE GENDERED WORDS AND ENDEARMENTS ARE SO CONFUSING TO ME
I did a piece for speech team where the character had her kid call her “laddy” or lesbian daddy.
I’m a lesbian adoptive and biological mom and I think the issue with the question of who is the REAL mom is not about gender or identity- as discussed above – but of realness. At least ths is what I object to if I were asked that question or my partner were to be asked that question.
Does only biology = real? That implication is the most offensive thing about it.
We’ve been asked a lot of questions about a lot of things but never that question…yet!
The article from THE FRISKY just made me realize how much I hate it when people still refer to the Kinsey scale. I mean that shit is old and hopelessly outdated! And it also makes me feel weird when someone talks about polysexual identities as some kind of “part gay + part straight” variations like my sexual identity is some kind of a torn creature. Like some kind of a Frankenstein’s Monster instead of something whole, complete and independent.
Also can I please not be a fucking number?
Or in the words of the mighty Joan Jett: “I can’t define desire / I won’t defend desire / I can’t defile desire / I won’t defend desire”
(Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – Five)
I think the Kinsey scale has a useful purpose as a starting point in understanding shades of human sexuality, but shouldn’t be an end. In fact knowing about the Kinsey scale first made me comfortable in understanding myself as not being straight. It was easier to see myself as “a Kinsey 1” than going right to saying I was queer. It *is* an extremely flawed system, but I still use it in talking to friends who are first coming out with questions about their sexuality to me. It can be used as a starting point. The problem is we shouldn’t stop there.
That’s interesting that you were able to think of yourself as a “Kinsey 1” before anything else, Erin. I never knew how to place myself within the scale or what difference would it really make to think of myself as a [insert number] compared to a [insert another number]. I mean, the hypothetical possibility of somebody’s attraction is one thing but then life happens…
Let’s say, you think of yourself as “mostly straight” but then you meet the one girl that makes your knees go weak and you end up being with her for the rest of your life. What does it make you? And is it even important? You know what I mean? The number doesn’t have any actual influence on your real life situation, or does it?
And what do you do with the scale if your and/or your partner’s gender identity is non-conforming?
Those are really interesting questions, so I suppose I should clarify my situation. I actually first fell in love with a girl. She was the first person I ever dated, kissed, slept with, etc. But at the beginning (and into the middle) of our relationship I was still identifying as 100% straight. It was very strange. I was both repressed and religious. Hearing about the Kinsey scale in this situation was a relief for me, because it allowed me to think of myself as a “Kinsey 1” instead of immediately saying “bisexual” which was very hard for me. Now I identify as a lesbian, but in my mind I gradually moved along the Kinsey scale and it was less scary that way. It made me stop identifying as 100% straight sooner than I might have without it.
And regarding your question about a partner whose gender identity is non-conforming….that’s exactly what makes me admit that the scale is quite flawed. It basically takes the gender/sexuality binary and just splits it into slightly smaller pieces. Which is highly problematic. But I still say that the Kinsey scale is useful as a *starting* point for people who are beginning to question their sexuality, because then they can begin to realize that there are nuances, instead of sexuality being so cut and dry.
That’s sort of what I did. Kinsey helped me eeassseee into being a lez, and it helped me to eeeeassssee those surrounding me into it, too. I also used it for a justification for thinking girls were attractive. I don’t know how many times I told people that it was totally normal for me to have “girl crushes” because Kinsey theorized that most women aren’t completely straight.
I would say that the good majority of the lesbians I’ve known started out saying they were bi. In our circles, that’s more common, more acceptable. So I guess using the Kinsey scale was the same way for me. Started out mumbling something about being a 2, slowly worked my way up to being a good hard 6.
I think, though, that now’s it come back to bite me. I’m in no way bisexual, pansexual, or sexually fluid. But, when people question my sexuality (I’m pretty femme, and people argue that I must be bisexual all the time. Including the local LGBTQ center), they always quote the Kinsey scale. Drives me mad. I’m a good, solid 6. I wouldn’t even push 5…I’m a six, in every single way. I like the ladies, and only the ladies.
I had a similar experience with the Kinsey scale. I was totally straight, not bisexual at all! Buuut, okay, I could admit to being a Kinsey 1.5. It let me kind of ease my way into queerness a bit. I suppose I’d consider myself pretty much a 6 now, but I don’t see it as particularly useful for me anymore.
A site note, does it seem like women are a lot more likely to identify somewhere in the middle? In contrast it seems like men are always 1 or 6. My campus LGBT group’s facebook group had a Kinsey scale discussion recently and every guy who responded was a 6 and every girl somewhere from 2 to 5. (We do have straight and bisexual guys, but I guess they just didn’t respond.) I thought that was interesting anyway.
Look, Science agrees with you!
For those who are allergic to clicking on links, a study looking at the arousal patterns of men and women showed that women tended to have more “bisexual arousal pattern” than men. Aka, it seems to suggest that women are more sexually fluid. Or something.
Regarding the Channing Tatum article, it always strikes me a bit funny when women do the whole “I am so not a stereotypical lesbian” thing. I didn’t feel like she was doing it out of a distaste for the stereotypical lesbian, like I feel like a lot of ladies do, and people do need to know that lesbians come in many, many varieties. I guess I’d just like to see more “I look exactly like a lesbian because I am one”.
ugh that Channing Tatum article. Aren’t we past the stereotype of “lesbians don’t wear dresses or high heels”?
I appreciated the intent behind the words of the Channing Tatum author (Erika Star), but maybe the execution of the idea left something to be desired. I really agree with the idea that lesbians can enjoy certain aspects of traditional masculinity and men and still be lesbians. Human sexuality is weird and complicated and we should celebrate the ways we are all unique and individual and can learn from each other.
But….she seems a little scornful of “lesbian stereotypes.” Is it really so bad to like Ani DiFranco or not shave your legs or be vegetarian? I know that she’s reacting against those who consider her “not lesbian enough” (and I agree that those who make themselves “the lesbian police” are ridiculous and awful), but there is a place in our community for them too and their doubt of her doesn’t justify her scorn of them either.
“What do you call a lesbian in a dress?”
“What? A paradox or something.”
“Incorrect. The answer is ‘a lesbian.'”
Yay Betty White.
Also! THAT LAST ARTICLE. SO FUNNY. And I totally sympathize and I know those feels and I can VERY CLEARLY visualize myself reading fanfiction on my phone while my (clearly hotter) date dances with everyone else in the bar. Or texting all my not-present friends and my mom (who is also my friend) about how nobody likes me and obviously I’m going to die alone.
Also also, check out the author’s (Kate Conway) profile on xojane. She is hilarious and awesome and I want to be her friend. The reason I clicked on her name in the first place, however, was because I was legitimately unsure which of the ladies in the photo on the article was supposed to be the hotter one.
Wait…. let me get this straight (haha) “My girlfriend is hotter than me and I’m trying to be an adult about it”?
ummmmm, yeah…. grow up, first.
full disclosure- I’m a MtF transsexual, and I’m straight (i like men) so I probably shouldn’t even be here
but… once upon a time, i liked an article, and now I cant seem to get rid of this site from my yahoo daily posts, so i’m stuck with occasionally clicking on a link that catches my eye.
Like an earlier poster, I am probably older than many on this site- try deciding to be sexy for the first time in your life after 45 years as a male working in a very macho, male dominated field (or “taking the plunge”)
then try making a relationship with a straight man
try shaving 45 years of callouses off your fingers, heels and toes
to make your inordinately large appendages look sexy
(they are proportional)
now try finding shoes for those size 12s (that’s 14 in lady sizes- yeah they don’t make them this side of $200)
I’m getting ready to put 3 kids through college (or the Army) and I sure don’t need any of them whining like this poster.
But I do have attentive gentlemen that don’t disrespect me. Your girlfriend isn’t hotter than you- she is a skank- and that translates in English through all genders and sexual proclivities.
also Oliver- you are WRONG! and so is Betty White. A lesbian in a dress is not a lesbian. A lesbian in a dress is a lady, same as anyone else in a dress.
Its OK for everyone to treat each other as ladies and gentlemen.
Regardless of sexual orientation.
A….a SKANK? *jaw drops* Yikes. And ouch.
I know- I’m too old and frankly, I am realizing this whole “T” thing just doesn’t go with the “LGB” prefix. Queer is nice, I’m glad it has come back into fashion.
Sometimes the children make me want to scream, so sometimes I scream back.
Hugzz and kisses to all, your NeeNee
On one hand you’re saying anyone in a dress is a lady, and on the other you’re saying that particular girl in a dress is a skank? How about not putting your own labels on people and letting them decide what they are.
You certainly are very full of yourself! Maybe you can tell me this: if other people can decide what one’s label should be, what does that make you and I as trans women in the eyes of most of the world?
You’ve said that you’re straight. From where, then, do you draw your expertise on the dynamics of queer relationships and dating? Certainly you couldn’t be pulling it from your ass because you’re so full of yourself, right?
And why is a lesbian in a dress not a lesbian? Sure, she might be a lady, but how does that preclude her from being a lesbian? Seriously, the dynamics of label-hatred confuse me even when they’re benign, but this is a little nasty. Some of us like to be particular with our chosen labels.
I’m sorry, I think the line to enter the Oppression Olympics is that way.
Also, maybe you should remove Autostraddle from your Yahoo since you seem exasperated to even be here.
From the First Time article “Bisexuals and gays face real discrimination, real hatred, real injustice — it didn’t feel respectful to that reality to call myself “bisexual,” too.”
But that’s an attitude I personally find disrespectful -when girls have crushes on and make out with girls then insist they’re straight. It feels to me as if they’re erasing bi identity -either that they don’t want/are scared to to identify that way because it’s weird and gross, in which case, gee thanks, or that they’re recasting the identity I struggled and agonised over, went through the terror of denial and suppression and coming out for, found the queer community through -that is, in other words, a meaningful experience for me – as straight. Like, all girls do that, it’s normal, turn in your queer badge and step away from the lesbians, silly you for introspecting about it, now go kiss another straight girl for your boyfriend. There’s also a bit of cognitive dissonance going on because the same actions that meant people were bullied terribly in school becomes something the popular girls do cos it’s “hot” in college.
See, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Label politics is tricky. Some people are very attached to their labels, feel the need to police their boundaries, and get offended if you dare to intrude on said labels when they feel you don’t belong in some way.
So she calls herself bisexual, and people find it disrespectful. She doesn’t call herself bisexual, and other people find it disrespectful. Can’t the poor girl catch a break?
Re the Star Observer article— I too cannot fathom scissoring. Literally the most awkward thing I have ever done in bed. Am I doing it wrong, or is it really just ridiculous?
I liked the First Time article a lot, and that’s all I have to say about that.
I think reading articles like the others you’ve posted is weird because the audience is so not us. Reading Separating the Fact from Lesbian Fiction just felt like, duh. It’s hard to put myself in the position of someone who would find that informative, I guess? And I deliberately skipped the Channing Tatum one, and even now as I think I should read it just to comment, I can’t bring myself to. I guess the other comments confirmed my expectations of it.
Really though, thanks for the First Time piece :) it made me want to read more by the author, and to hope she doesn’t suppress this side of herself again.
Re: First Time Hooking Up With A Woman…
I thought the article was everything it should be. It would make me happy if there were many more like it. Think of how many people there are out there who don’t choose to wave the rainbow flag, who still have that unconsidered aspect of themselves: that they could be happy being with a same-sex partner, or a transgender partner, or someone else. (And I am totally okay if more women decide to explore their gayness, not sayin’ jus’ sayin’.)
Re: Kinsey, this silly seven-point scale is really helpful (!!!) for the very reason outlined above. Sure, it doesn’t work for those people who already have found the dynamic peaks/valleys/changing tides in their sexual identity. For those who aren’t there yet, it is just one more way they can learn to see that dynamic in themselves. When I first came out as bisexual in my teens, I was all over the Kinsey scale. Now that I am older, I think of what I like and what I am attracted to in more nuanced terms. But a scale like that helped a lot on the a way there.