That Bloody L Word

Sometimes I feel as though I am actually a bad lesbian. Not evil, or corrupt, you understand, just not as practised at leading the lesbian life as the "community" would like...

Some examples:
  • I have never watched Bad Girls or The L Word.
  • I rarely watched Prisoner Cell Block H (and only then, when very, very drunk)
  • I can't play pool to save my life.
  • I don't like cats much (although Mrs Gripes is quite fond and so I tolerate her "animal companions - unless they hawk up a fur ball or scratch my feet when I am in bed)
  • I am useless with power tools (OK, not useless exactly - but not very good either: there may be further posts on this one...)
  • I would no more wear a rainbow badge than pierce my own nipples with a rusty paperclip
  • kd lang's voice grates on me (particularly when she does that annoying swooping from one note to another. Aieeeeee, my ears...)
  • I don't actually like sport. Not even tennis.
  • If my hair is too short, I look like a Photoshopped Ronnie Barker
  • I look terrible in a suit/kilt/boilersuit...

I could go on, but you get the picture. Media representations of lesbians have improved over the past five years. There is an acknowledged diversity of ages, experiences, cultural values emerging (slowly) on TV and in film; lesbian authors are no longer solely part of a gay publishing ghetto and can make it into the best-sellers' list on their own merits; lesbian broadcasters - although few and far between - are beginning to break through from "single issue" shows and be mainstreamed. This is all good inclusive, diverse progress, but it isn't good enough to dispel the clichéd image of lesbians that we ourselves perpetuate.

Pride Scotia is on the 25th June in Edinburgh this year. There will be bois, bis, butches, and lipstick, chapstick even dipstick lesbians in evidence, no doubt. Good on ya, gals- keeping it real, keeping it visible. There will also be some bods, much like myself (including myself, come to think of it) who just look like your neighbours. Actually, we are your neighbours.

If lesbian visibility means adhering to a type, then I just can't do it. If it means being myself, as honestly and openly as I can, compromising only when compromise will move things forward, then maybe I am not as invisible as I fear. Maybe I'm not such a bad lesbian after all- but maybe I need to re-program my own scene-formed prejudice and question: from where did I get my clichéd image of what it is to be a lesbian?

(& where the hell did I put my lumberjack shirt and dungarees, of course...)

5 comments:

30-Something said...

I too am a crap lesbian. My gaydar is non-existent and cats make me want to gouge my own eyes out with a spoon.

Btw, I have now linked to you. I checked your blog out today and, unfortunately for me, it's yet another one that's far superior to mine. *sigh*

c'lam said...

you're missing out with not seeing the L word - hot hot hot!

i also will be priding on the Saturday, although i too shall not be dressed outlandishly. tho i may be slightly sailorish if i can get my cool new trousers to fit by then.

t.o. grrl said...

I think lesbian visibility means being visible as exactly who you are. I know someone who is so beautiful and femmy she has to keep coming out over and over because straight people (especially men) just don't get it. I think she adds a great deal to our visibility - we aren't all the same and we are everywhere!

OliverP said...

Yes you are an awful Lesbian! Go away now and get your eyebrow pierced and buy a copy of the Well of Loneliness before it's too late for you. Shame on you sista!

The Gripes of Wrath said...

Oh, it's not getting my eyebrow pierced that bothers me... *wince*