I am sick and tired of straight (in my experience, always white) men using the word and the concept “lesbian” as an insult.
When you don’t get what you want from me: I’m a lesbian.
When I stand up for myself and my friends and speak back: I’m a lesbian.
When I make you uncomfortable or reject you: I’m a lesbian.
I have short hair and a nose piercing and a fierce sense of style you cannot wrap your head around: I’m a lesbian. (Yes, seriously.)
Firstly you need to know that “lesbian” is not an insult. I don’t happen to be gay but it doesn’t offend me when you try to say that I am. It does offend me that you think you can somehow belittle me by suggesting that I am, that somehow, the ‘accusation’ that I am attracted to women and not you or your immature behaviour, means I am less than. That is very fucking offensive. Homophobic, actually. I know the lesbians of the world have plenty of fantastic spokespeople, more eloquent and qualified to speak on the topic than me, but there is nothing embarrassing, shameful, weird or bad about being a gay woman.
Secondly, you’ve obviously been too busy not coming up with wittier, more relevant, actual insults, because you haven’t noticed that lesbian power couples are a force for good, taking over the world with their money, their power, their creativity, activism and their general badassery. A woman is badass enough when she knows she has female friends in her corner who will back her up unequivocally. Try a woman with a female life partner in her corner. She becomes untouchable.
Thirdly, and this is really point number one reiterated, but it bears repeating, your insult just doesn’t sting. It confuses me, sure. It bores me straight (pardon the pun). But hurt me? Nope. It’s somewhere between a totally fucking moot point and a compliment. See above.
What do you get out of calling me a lesbian? Does it make you feel superior? More manly? Like I’m a miserable bitch because I’m missing something in life and that something is your dick? Really, if you’re reading this — I’d love to know.
I can tell you what I get out of it. If I didn’t already — admittedly it’s usually not the first sign—I now know exactly what calibre of person you are. I know that I won’t be associating with you any further. You’re not witty, or clever or funny, or worth my time. I also feel just a little bit of pride, because if calling me a lesbian means that:
a) You will now leave me the fuck alone because you know there is nothing for you here and…
b) That I get in any way to be associated with Ellen, Portia, Sara, Holland, Billie Jean, Glennon, Abby, Jodie, Beth et al…
PS. Lesbian power couples are not a modern phenomenon. Check out this article to read more about women from history who teamed up in life, politics, business and activism to get shit done.