By K. Kendall (originally posted to Flickr as Audre Lorde) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
by Zaquoya Rogers
Audre Lorde was a black feminist writer and civil rights activist that used her skilled talent in poetry to express the social injustices she witnessed and experienced throughout her life. Being a black female lesbian, she experienced discrimination from all aspects, but that did not stop her from addressing the issues of racism, sexism, and homophobia. It was stated that all of her writings ring with passion, sincerity, perception, and depth of feeling. Her writings persuaded readers to look within their own lives and witness the prejudice they may have overlooked and react to it. She has called herself “A self-styled black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” and that she is.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
by Morgan Paul
Recently I’ve seen a lot of blogs/arguments/articles saying that lesbians and bisexual women are more accepted than the rest of the queer community, but clearly these are not written by queer women. I find it crucial that we first separate acceptance from fetishization. Their sexuality is not accepted, they are instead seen as objects that are simply putting on a show for the enjoyment of those watching (specifically straight men). Fetishization reduces these women to things that are only wanted for consumption by a privileged group. Of course when I’m talking about lesbians I’m focusing on femme lesbians. Most straight men have no interest in watching masculine women; those are the “real lesbians”.
Image from Creative Commons Search
Femme lesbians on the other hand are seen as a challenge for men to “convert”. I’ve heard many men say things like “She just hasn’t had the good D” or “She’s never even been with a man”. To this I always ask if they’ve been with a man and the men get very defensive and tell me that they don’t need to try it because they know they’re straight. (It’s actually really funny to see how defensive a man gets when he feels like his masculinity is being challenged.)
This illustrates how they don’t see these women as human beings capable of making their own decisions but instead as helpless creatures that need to be taught. And what about the way that femme lesbians and bi-sexual women are ignored within the queer community? I’ve been told by many people that because I’m in a heterosexual relationship then I’m straight; they obviously don’t understand sexuality…at all. Because a woman doesn’t look like the stereotype of a lesbian woman does not mean that she’s any less gay, and if a woman likes men and women, she’s not any less queer. Stop telling people what they “really” are, they’re people and they shouldn’t have to take your shit.