Lesbians and Queer Culture


Sometimes I think Mike Rowe should have done a queer episode of his hit show “Dirty Jobs.” Sewer inspector, animal rendering plant employee, and trying to keep all queers happy are all tough, dirty jobs. It’s the result of the fact that we are a very small minority, which creates a strong desire for perfect representation at al times in the few spaces, websites, and media projects we have. Christine Vachon, a Hollywood producer (Carol) who has worked so hard for queer representationlgbt queer alphabet queer says this in an interview with AfterEllen,

I can’t win with the queer community, to be honest. When I first started making movies, I was accused of only making movies by men. I was like “I’ve made two movies! Give me a minute!” Then I produced Go Fish and I was accused of making a lesbian movie that was ageist. Every single movie, there’s been some complaint, and I just keep my head down and keep making them. Imagine I Shot Andy Warhol and the ripple that had. Stonewall, which I thought “How can anybody begrudge this movie?”—it was picketed. I just can’t keep track.

Queer spaces are great. It’s a chance for people to come together under the shared experience of being different. Pride parades and GSA campus groups are wonderful examples of this. I had a fantastic experience with my small but diverse group of LGBT queers in college. And I am in general, not a huge supporter of people getting so involved in their identity politics whether around race, class, or sexual orientation that they lose the greater concept of shared humanity. But there is just a bottom line reality that while there is overlap of queer issues, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people have some very specific issues that need attention.

Lesbians actually really don’t have many places to go that solely support their needs and interests, especially in light of the current dominance of an overall queer culture on websites for lesbians and the constant pushing of the theory that all women are bisexual or sexually fluid. There are sometimes pretty angry reactions to this in some corners of the Internet. But not every lesbian that isn’t happy about this as an extremist. Very middle of the road lesbians are feeling a lack of power in the queer community. Whether they are a small minority or a majority I don’t know but it’s a topic worth discussing. In the most popular commercial websites that cater to lesbians the focus is appealing to all queer woman. And there is a need for places like that. And these writers and editors are working hard to promote queer visibility and don’t deserve a piranha frenzy every time they make a mistake. But unfortunately, sometimes the result is that these websites wind up having content that is actually really not supportive of lesbians. Not every lesbian is totally fine with hearing about women in socially acceptable heterosexual relationships looking to spice up her life with a girl on the side in the comments section (and articles even) of websites that advertise themselves as mainly being about female homosexuality. Lesbians also need a place to talk about their own body parts and personal struggles without being reprimanded, which can happen in cis/trans spaces. There also aren’t really high quality popular websites that are geared towards bisexuals and trans people specifically. Everyone along the spectrum of queerness needs to have a voice and a place to discuss their life situations. I am just pointing out that these discussions aren’t always mutually supportive for everyone.

Lesbian bars are dead. Queer women in relationships with men often dominate the discussions in lesbian spaces because they outnumber them, and the term queer now encompasses almost everyone that is in any way not “heteronormative” (hate that word but..). But there is a lack of professional level, high quality resources for the women that will actually fall in love with another woman and have a life with her. And for lesbians that may not fit a monogamous marriage model.

This isn’t a lesbian only website as the main topic is women who are or want to be in same-sex relationships and that includes some bisexuals. I think a lesbian only website that really celebrated lesbianism (without ever denigrated other groups of people) would be a great thing to have a long side others that are integrated and aim to celebrate everyone. But at least this issue can be acknowledged here and space provided to discuss this honestly and respectfully. In an ideal world we would have spaces where we all come together but where we also all had the numbers, power, and money to have supportive spaces for each group’s unique issues.

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