I’m a lesbian, therefore I hate men

If you are a woman who happens to like women, it means you hate or fear men. It means that those hairy bodies and smelly feet and stubbly faces are just too repulsive for you. It’s objectionable that men have so much power in society and women are too often subjugated by them and their patriarchal doctrines, so who needs them? Sisters can do it for themselves right?

So one morning I woke up, bought a Judith Butler book, a Tegan and Sara CD and some dungarees, threw out my razor and quit men. Hopefully you know I’m kidding.

But sometimes I think people really see it that way. Like all the outside influences in life force us into choosing our sexual orientation. When my wife told her parents she was gay, they were convinced it was down to her watching too much Buffy. If only they’d protected her from the pressure of a tenuous fantasy series about teenage vampires, maybe she would have chosen a more acceptable path.

I suppose people make these assumptions because they need an explanation. Nobody likes to think that as human beings we are all that different from one another. A lot of people are pretty uncomfortable with difference, unless they can form an understanding of why. Roman playwright Terence said, ‘I consider nothing that is human alien to me’. It’s a nice sentiment, but realistically I don’t believe people on the whole are all that willing to embrace the ideas and experiences of those different to them.

The way I see it is that the only thing we all have in common as human beings is the uniqueness of our experience. It’s kind of awesome to acknowledge the fact that no two minds are the same, not even those of identical twins. I find it somewhat comforting, knowing that I will never truly understand another person, nor they me. It helps me keep an open mind; the assurance that when someone behaves in a way I find perplexing, they could have any number of reasons why.

Maybe I can do this because I’ve got used to how it feels to be different from the societal norm. I know what it is to be an outsider. Even within my own family, I experienced a significant backlash when I came out. My wife and I have been heckled in the street and spat on. We always consider where we are and who we are with, and adjust our behaviour accordingly in order to avoid drawing any unpleasant responses from people. It’s not a nice way to live.

I think often people can’t understand that someone can be gay and also ‘normal’. If you’re attracted to the same sex, this must mean you have some inherent issues with the opposite sex. You must have suffered some dreadful trauma to not want to have straight sex. You must be damaged goods.

This is of course a flawed perspective. It neglects to acknowledge the fact that sexual orientation isn’t a choice. I didn’t wake up one day and decide to only have sex with women because I’m so disgusted by men. I experienced sexual abuse as a child, by a male perpetrator, but that hasn’t turned me against men. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of wonderful men in my life growing up, who I felt safe with and close to. That must have compensated for the one man who terrorised me.

I love people. Men and women, I adore the friends I’ve chosen to be close to. I don’t fear men, I don’t feel any more or less safe with my male friends than I do with women. In fact, the men in my life give me the most amazing bear hugs. That’s something I couldn’t live without.

Ultimately, I like to remind myself that every human being is an individual. Regardless of gender, race, religion or sexuality, everyone has a unique set of gifts to give to life and their loved ones. Making assumptions just serves to alienate people and breed resentment. I shouldn’t ever be asked to explain my sexuality to anyone.

Finally, I wanted to share a short anecdote from a terrible therapy session I had.I met with this woman a couple of times before I realised she was no good for me. The loudest alarm bell rang when she asked me whether I thought I was gay because I was sexually abused as a child. I was furious. I couldn’t believe that a professional who is supposedly trained in being sensitive to others’ emotions could ask such an ignorant question.

It’s a bit like when I say I’m vegetarian and someone asks why. You never hear people asking a meat-eater why they eat meat. So when quizzed on this, or my sexuality, I just turn the stupid question back on them. That means, when someone asks why I am gay, I just reply, ‘Why are you straight?’. That shuts them up pretty quick.

Photo: Georgie Pauwels, Creative Commons.

 

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. The Millionaires Page says:

    I’m not against gay, as a a matter of fact I’m for the gay right acts. But talking negatively about others especially a specific group of people is very wrong and you should feel ashamed of yourself.. We all have our own opinions, and posting something like this especially for the whole World to see is not only offensive to men, it’s also offensive to girls that have boyfriends who are men. How would you like it if someone told you, especially a girl, how much they hated you and why they hated you?… You wouldn’t. The next time you have something derogatory and insolent to say, keep it to your bias arrogant and ignorant self. I feel bad for any kind and loyal gentleman and woman who reads this and feels offended by your disrespectful and barbaric incivility. You should feel ashamed of yourself.

    Like

    1. Laura Black says:

      Maybe you should actually read the article before you take offence!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Millionaires Page says:

        It’s “offense,” not “offence.” And that doesn’t matter. Anyone who sees the title will automatically feel offended already so it’ll make them not want to read it. That is why I posted the comment.

        Like

    2. Laura Black says:

      Haha that’s my US auto correct! I have no problem with people taking offenCe to a title, that’s their choice and the beauty of free speech. Live and let live eh?

      Like

  2. noimnotok says:

    I’m a man and I don’t hate lesbians. Hooray.
    I was at a bar on the weekend that had lots of lesbians. The experience was familiar. They look at me, see that I’m a man, maybe they can see that I’m not gay, and the look on their face turns to disgust, disapproval. They sneer at me. If I try to talk to them they are rude and dismissive. I can tell that they just want me to fuck off and go away.
    These are the “scene” lesbians in the city I live in, one with a massive lesbian scene. Thank you for reminding me that these people are not representative of all women-who-like-women.
    Also, that therapist sounds diabolical. What a terrible question to ask.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura Black says:

      Sorry you’ve experienced that hostility. I guess you can get that problem with any marginalised community. Thanks for your positive words though. And yeah that therapist was horrendous! Laura

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Millionaires Page says:

    We already know you’re not going to post our comment on your blog. After all, that’s something that arrogant and ignorant people like you would do. I hope you get nothing in life for the other people’s lives you have offended.

    Like

  4. I had a priest tell me that 99.9% of gay people were abused and that they simply need to be healed. He likened being gay to someone being born with a disease, or the like. I’m not gay, but everytime I have heard someone say that being gay is a choice, my quick answer is “that’s a really f..ed up choice because its a really really hard road with people like you around”. I love this article because its so true that we are all so different and yet so many choose to condemn the difference as opposed to celebrating it. My being sexually abused only made me withdraw and then try to conquer and treat men like garbage…on the contrary, every gay person I know is a hell of lot nicer and more compassionate to this cruel world.
    But then, I’m ridiculously damaged goods. “More issues than Vogue”. Its inspiring to see how grounded and strong you are in your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Thanks for the kind words. No such thing as damaged goods. Nobody is untarnished, we all get knocks as we go through life. It makes us interesting and vibrant and sensitive to the suffering of others. As you’ve shown in your thoughtful comment. Laura

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great writing! And I love the way you ended the post. Wonderful read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. oake31 says:

    Hi Laura
    Great article, my cousin and her wife faced similar obstacles when they shared they were gay.
    I love how you write, you are open and transparent what more could readers ask for, I found nothing offensive in your article.
    I guess people react so profoundly when it has triggered their issues

    Jessica x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I deliberately chose a slightly controversial heading, mainly to highlight my point that we should all be better at not making assumptions. So it wasn’t a surprise to get some negative comments. It’s all debate, and that’s OK with me!
      I’m glad you like my writing, it is my goal to be open, I think we’d all be better off if we said how we really feel more often 🙂

      Like

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