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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Waits

#DEEPTHOTS: An Inquiry on Lesbianism

What are lesbians?

Lesbians are women, women - aligned, and/or non binary folk who exclusively date other non - men. Those who can’t fuck with exclusivity can use the term sapphic! (Ex: A bisexual is not a lesbian - but is sapphic!) From uhauling, golden star, to Butch - lesbians have long been stereotyped worldwide. Lesbians throughout history have been seen as aggressive, dangerous, insane, perverted, and outright abnormal. Especially the Black ones. Cookie Wolner, a gender and sexuality professor at Kalamazoo University studies the lives of Queer Black women in the 20th century. She identified the roots of such stereotypes riddled throughout the dialogue and writings in 20th century court records and newspapers. Nicole Paseka details instances of assault (verbal, physical, and sexual), intimate partner violence, and a hyper focus on the misfortune that affects masculine black women and trans masculine lesbians. She cites Ayesha Canfield from impact justice when reporting that “black queer girls who appear more masculine are often treated really aggressively by police,” on top of being at a higher rate to being falsely arrested when calling about a domestic abuse case. Notable black lesbian representations reside in hyper aggressive and masculine tropes like Cleo in set it off or trauma stories which are very valid like pariah also featuring a masculine black lesbian. So in short: Black lesbians are scary, aggressive, masculine ??seeming?? and violent. Sign me up.

Am I a lez?

I identified as pansexual for a long time. I inherently believe that you can’t control who you love and regardless of gender, race, religion and whatever else - love wins. I’ve learned to keep this philosophy in most areas of my life. It is important to me that I try to lead with love and empathy. Unless you got me fucked up of course. However after having access to a wonderful therapist and increasing the amount of lesbians in my close circle I have since switched teams.

Iz a lesbian now!

Well I think I’ve always been a lesbian. I’ll never forget when this elder lesbian detailed her story of marrying a man and having kids and “the whole thing.” She detailed feeling like she always was gay and that gayness always felt more comfortable. She still persisted to be straight though. Ain’t that a bitch. The flurry of “that couldn’t be me,” bombs started to formulate in my mouth before it clicked. Bitch it’s you.

I’m no gold star (not by a long shot) but I’ve only ever dated one man. I guess that should have been a big clue. All of my past relationships were with girls or non-men in secret of course. I often would get played by a straight girl who wanted a test ride. Or the closeted gays who knew we would never make it to the point of even going out in public together. Mini dates, make believe double wife homes, and consistent girlfriends in adolescence was also a huge lesbian green flag. Being outed or forced to out myself by family yearly just for me to deny the allegations. (Luckily I always beat my charges!) I didn’t feel like talking to or working through anything with any of the people I was close to. I figured I would just keep my pansexual mood going until further notice. I didn’t choose this lesbian life it chose me.

Throughout my life folks had always clocked me. Looking back most of my adolescent girlfriends and partners as well as clients for sex work had always mentioned that I was boyish looking. Dare I even say androgynous. But as I do I ignored their incorrect observations. But with time and seeing so many different types of lesbians I just excepted that on any given day iamb giving what she needs to give. And I can be giving whatever I give for whatever reason. Similar to other black queer folk address mainly for survival. The hopes of “passing“in society with as little problems as possible. If I don’t feel like being bothered by men I tend to dress more masculine. Now does that stop them?

Of course not.

But that also ain’t stopping me. I won’t lie, I enjoy the attention I receive when people can’t really tell what gender I am. I know that I’m a woman so you can think whatever you want. And I mostly had lesbians thinking about me. I would say on average when I dressed more masculine mostly lesbians approached me. And as a pansexual I really liked that. Men were boring me as well as irritating me so taking a break from them was something I wanted to do anyway. But little did I know my dip back into sapphicness would lead me to discover that I in fact prefer to only date non-men. Exclusively.

So there’s this they/them I’m dating. If you are within 5 km of my radius you probably have seen pictures and heard all about them. Yes this relationship is fulfilling however I will talk about how fulfilling this relationship is on a later date. I want to talk about how being with my partner illuminated to me that I was in fact a lez. We both were socialized as black girls so we both sort of grew up thinking that we were pansexual but just were too nervous to be with non-men. To be honest pulling men and keeping them satisfied is like feeding a dog the bar is so low. It’s easier to be in a relationship with a man in terms of effort. So if I’m looking for a little attention without really needing to put my all in all day a man. And that’s on period Pooh. That was the first sign. The longer we date the more we both realize that the relationships with men that we had were extremely compromising of our own identity. We also took this lesbian test that my partner had known widely for a minute. After taking this test and being in this relationship for the past 11 months I can certifiably say that I am a lesbian. I was living a lie similar to the elder lesbian who I claimed I would never be. Now ain’t that about a bitch.

Lesbian Future

Y’all know that sexual orientation and gender are fluid right.? So yeah I’m a lesbian for now but as one of my favorite longtime Youtubers Gigi Gorgeous has also illuminated - that may well change. GG has publicly come out as almost every letter in the Gay Alphabet. Regardless of the thousands of people that swarm to misgender her or disparage her identity she reminds us that everything in your life could change in an instant - and you gotta keep pushing. Shit changes. And that is always OK. Be who you are honestly. That’s all anyone can ask.

I feel confident in who I am. I feel that that confidence comes from having language and representations of lesbians around me. So many of my friends are lesbians. So many publications, movies, artists and conversations finally center the lesbian experience. And there are so many more that I’m dying to find that have always centered the lesbian experience. I want to be a representation of the lesbian experience - the black lesbian experience. It’s important that people see me confident being a lesbian. It’s important for people to see me loving my chosen family and my partner out loud. Fuck if it’s important to you it’s important to me. My future is bright and full of lesbians.

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