“So have you got a boyfriend?” This question invariably arises at some point in the afternoon of a shoot. This is after the many social conversations that everybody tends to have…”I’m going on vacation with my girlfriend”; “I’m moving in with my girlfriend”: “I’m a little stressed out because me and my girlfriend are both working so much we don’t get much time together right now”.
Do I have a boyfriend? “No…I have a GIRLFRIEND (the one I’ve been talking about all day!). I’m gay.
Pause. Silent appraisal. Slightly incredulous “Really?”
Yes really. Yes I’m a lesbian, gay, homosexual, queer. Not Straight.
To Straight men: Yes I mean gay, not bi-sexual. No I don’t need to try a ‘real man’ thank you; No you can’t join in; No you can’t watch. No I do NOT miss men. Ever. Yes, I really mean gay GAY.
To Straight women: Yes I used to date men as well; Yes I was always attracted to women…I would only play Drs and Nurses with girls…NEVER boys J; No it is definitely NOT “so much easier”, it’s not about being ‘over’ men and turning to a woman to feel better. We don’t just hold hands and play with each other’s hair…thank goodness! IF you’re gay then you are as emotionally and sexually vulnerable with a woman as a straight woman is with a man. These women can and sometimes do break your heart. No man could ever make me feel as alive, as excited, as loved, as satisfied or as scared as a woman has. For me, only a woman can crush me emotionally, or make me happier than I ever thought possible. Only a woman can truly have all of me: body and soul and heart and mind.
To Gay Men; Yes Lacey’s really hot and yes, we’re really happy! Look…here’s a picture J
To Lesbians: I am not a TOURIST. I am not a straight girl playing at being gay, not part of the lesbian-lite trend, this is not a fun game for me to entertain myself with before I “Go back to men”. I am not “confused” thank you. No I’m not a GoldStar, but neither are half of you and are any of you less gay for that reason? Lacey is not my first, second or third girlfriend (although she is definitely the most AMAZING J) Yes, I’m extremely feminine in the way that I dress. I know that I look a bit like a Barbie doll half of the time and yes, I probably would be taken more seriously as a gay woman if I changed my style. But you’ve never even had a conversation with me and you assume you know what I’m all about.
Isn’t the point of the struggle for EQUALITY for gay people at least partly to do with the human right to be who we truly authentically are? I could cut my hair and stop wearing dresses and high heels but that would be pretending to be something I’m not. I’m not asking you to be attracted to me as a femme…that’s either what you like or not, but it pisses me off that that is used as a reason not to take me, or all the other femmes seriously.
Surely the diversity of our culture is to be celebrated as a sign that more and more women feel freer to live the life we want; to love and desire whoever we want?