Shaking the Etch-A-Sketch of life. (lizsybarite) wrote in postqueer,
Shaking the Etch-A-Sketch of life.

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The L Word! discuss...

I stumbled across this brainfart of a topic while commenting on another person's considerably more thought-provoking post. So... lesbian. Love it or shove it? How do you define it? How does "dyke" qualify it, or are they worlds apart? How does the word & its definitions fit into the postqueer world? Do you use it in certain circumstances (coworkers, parents, etc.) because it is usually more understandable and inoffensive (as opposed to something more descriptive/colorful, like genderfucker bi-dyke sadomasochist)?

ME ME ME: In my circle of friends, the orientation I'll give if asked is probably unfashionably boring. Lesbian, or dyke. Probably dyke is closer to the mark (which I loosely define as "queer woman-type who isn't defined by who she DOESN'T fuck"), but I use them semi-interchangeably. Sexually & affectionally, I'm a lesbo. But I sometimes hesitate to use it, because a. I'm femme; b. I less-than-three (<3) fag porn and all kinds of other not-supposed-tos; c. I do some forms of (minimal contact) sex work; d. One of my ex-girlfriends is trans (we started out as a M/F bi couple - I tried on a bi identity for a few years, as did she - and ended up ex-girlfriends & present bosom buddies), and I'm hardly a Michigyn-politics grrl; e. I've had far more than a passing affiliation with the leather community (so much so, in fact, I got bored with it) .....

Personally, I'm fine with all those qualifications fitting under lesbian and dyke. But plenty of people with similar sexualities to mine have done away entirely with the L word. Can't say I blame them, but I'm hanging onto it for the time being. Because I'm a curmudgeon. But I'm also one of the worst "lesbians" in known history, if we are using any kind of separatist or Michigyn measuring stick. And I'm a never-say-never kind of person. So am I kidding myself to use lesbian at all? Or is that definition expanding, or has it expanded already and where the hell have I been?

And, my god, if Lesbian has fallen out of favor, what about GAY WOMAN? I don't know any, myself... then again, I define "gay woman" as any lesbo too rich to want anything to do with me. Tee hee.

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