By definition a lesbian is a woman who loves other women. Good? Good. Now where did this pretty straight forward definition become transphobic? Seems non-sensical right? However you would NOT believe the amount of discourse on this topic. Not only Twitter A-holes, but “educated/enlightened” persons in academic circles have been hashing out in heated debates all the ways the lesbian identity is inherently transphobic.
The term Lesbian is a very general non-specific term adopted by queer feminists post WWII as a political identity at the very beginning of the gay rights movement. There just weren’t a lot of options for self definition at the time. It was very much a Hetro or Homo social reality.
Since this time and thanks to many brave queers and allies, the gay rights movement has blossomed and seen many political and social successes. The “Inclusion” principal has really broadened the possibilities for self definition. Millennials today have a wide variety of terms to define their gender and sexual identities. (Pan-sexual, Trans Male, Androgenous, gender fluid etc etc.) Lesbian is basically a limited and antiquated umbrella term for women who love women. It doesn’t have the capability to describe the diversity of women within the group. It’s a very limited catch all to describe ALL queer women. It does not exclude or include trans persons and gender identities. It’s simply incapable of defining gender identity. Hence why recent advances in the movement have came up with a slew of new terms to help us define ourselves more specifically.
If I have one pet peeve it’s this. I have NO patience for individuals who whistle blow with no constructive intention other than to vent their own negativity. There are some particular gems in the world that love nothing more then to scream about injustice, to the extent they even seek to find it even where it doesn’t exist. I’m all about calling out REAL injustice. I am a proud card carrying Human Rights activist, a women’s studied educated gay lady, and defender of all underdogs! Even Kylie Jenner. But for the love of the movement and real socialist goals people, pleases calm your tits on whistle blowing on bullshit. Being a lesbian doesn’t mean an individual is transphobic OR wont date trans persons. It means just this, that they have chosen to identify as “Lesbian”. Respect it. Just as you would like your own self identifying lable to be respected. I’m sure any lesbian would be happy to add another identifier if she felt her expression of gender and sexual identity required it. Some women just simply love other cis women. It’s a question of attraction. Not exclusion. Frankly, if someone identifies as “female” and they are in a relationship with another person who identifies as “female” they can both call themselves lesbians if they choose. Why the F not?! How anyone self identifies is a very personal choice and needs to be respected.
We are in the era of gender identity politics an exciting extension of the gay rights movement. Trans politics and our trans brothers and sisters are on on all our minds! Buuuuut for the love of Caitlyn Jenner, let’s not turn and attack each other and create non-sensical diversions. Lesbians are NOT inherently transphobic. The lesbian political identity is simply antiquated and limited in it’s ability to express gender identity. So rather than tweet rage and drop the most transpositve attacks of the century on facebook at the expense of other members and allies of the community, take a deep breath and review what transphobic behaviour really is. Then ask yourself if what you are doing is constructive or just if you’re just HANGRY. Sadly there is way too much transphobia out there, so many issues that require real debate and support. Let’s all rally and put our energy on these issues people!
Remember we are all in this together. That’s kinda the definition of inclusion. So engage in some self reflection before you pop off people. Is what your saying helping the trans community achieve inclusion? Or are you just dividing members of the community and spreading made up conflict. Not allowing someone to use the bathroom of their choice IS transphobic. Being in a relationship with a cis woman and calling yourself a big old Lesbian is just self identification and in no way excludes on belittles anyone else.
#AmIright?! With me? Against me? Have a comment? Hit me below on your thoughts! xx
Featured Image: Flikr – Torbakhopper
In text image compliments of Wesley @pain_before_beauty