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Are Lesbians Being Written Out of the LGBT Community?
by Joan Annsfire
Friday Jan 3rd, 2014 12:35 PM
The more I read the end of the year wrap-ups of the queer community, the more I fear that XX chromosome lesbians are being marginalized.
I just finished reading an article in the "Huffington Post" about the 20 most compelling queers of 2013. 4 of them were born female. You heard right, 4 out of twenty! The remaining 16 were born male although some have transitioned to female and are living that way now.

Lesbians who have been born and raised as women are NOT one fifth of the queer community's population! And it’s not just this one article. The huge photo on the cover of the New Year's edition of the Bay Times" shows men as men, men in drag and women with smiles and long hair (have you noticed the huge percentage of young females who wear their hair long now?) Not a single female butch among them. I am beginning to fear that little by little, step by step the male culture of the LGBT community is writing out those of us born with XX chromosomes.

And this is happening at a time when, more than ever, the needs of women worldwide deserve our attention and activism. Women are underrepresented in all spheres of life except for child birth and rearing in all countries of the world. We are treated as dependent children who need male guardians in some, made to cover our bodies, heads and often faces in others, denied literacy and education in many, killed for minor infractions or dowry issues in quite a few, surgically clitorectomized, infibulated and we have been subjected to a wide array of horrific procedures like foot-binding throughout the history of the world.

Here, in the Occidental world, we survive in what is usually referred to as “Western Civilization.” Cultures here have always been hostile to our gender. The percentage of women in government, science, technology, and all disciplines except for teaching, nursing, childcare, librarianship and social work is astoundingly small. And when men enter these “women’s fields” their ability to ascend to management is rapid and blindingly unjust.

Women are underrepresented in all aspects of society partly due to prejudice, but also because to be born a woman in any part of the globe takes a tremendous toll on self-esteem. We are not raised to believe ourselves capable of great things. From the minute you are strapped into those frilly pink what-evers, your chances of fulfilling any dreams other than marriage and children are significantly diminished. You will be sexualized, demeaned and degraded in a myriad of both blatant and subtle ways. And if your family is also oppressed by ethnicity or socio-economic class the struggle becomes that much more difficult.

Butch lesbians are no-frills feminist culture warriors who challenge the norm of "femininity" by simple virtue of existence. Against all odds we have unearthed some semblance of self-love and respect in spite of, or perhaps because of the fact that society has no productive use for our style, not to mention our values.

If a preponderence of butch-leaning lesbians transition to men it leaves the majority who remain women in a more vulnerable position. Yes, people have to be true to their biological gender but the fact remains that becoming a man does reduce the problem of anti-woman oppression in an individual's life. It can be used as an easy fix to a much deeper problem.

Lesbians have always had our power drained when we try to work in mixed-gender environments. The gender net of human females is diverse and wide. I am all for fighting for the rights of transgender people. But just not at the expense of fair lesbian representation. Life is not a zero sum game. If the LGBT community writes us out of the fold, we will just keep raising hell on our own, a strategy we have learned well.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

Monday Jan 6th, 2014 3:10 AM
I totally agree with this blog, it amazes me, the friend i knew i had to detach from as I found it blew my mind too much and the years of not telling me thank goodness this was not a intimate situation, it would have been worse . the yet others who proceeded to change and be FTM
as i find they were born female and transitioned to male and say they can "relate" I asked what the
difference was, emotionally and physically, and economically I was told right out, 'BEING MALE IS BETTER IN THAT MY FINANCES ARE BETTER AND I HAVE ACHIEVED MY CAREER GOALS, IT IS EASY TO CIRCULATE IN THE WORLD" And it is safer, This shocked and appalled me, and it hurt me I am a 40 year old Lesbian, a true born lesbian, have never desired or been with a man, and when i did my own research i found out as well that we who were born female represent less than those who are female by choice, this scares me, this is as bad as if people could change their skin color by choice, but that is happening as well in the census African American friends claiming South pacific Islander,( I do understand transgender issues from a psychological standpoint)
or Hispanic rather than African American, why are we hiding I love woman, am a woman proud to be a woman am a pan racial woman of color I wouldn't want to be anyone else this is a new closet one right in front of our eyes, and it saddens me, my questions are now who are the "real women" who are the "real men" is the woman we see and are attracted to a real woman?
confusion, shame these women by choice that i know are well off the males by choice scare the hell out of me!! real Lesbians come out where are you? I don't hate people for their choices, I just wish that women by choice would be honest, this this scares me who have we become? Who is real? I have so many doubts that i choose that i remain single, Pure Woman, Lesbian and chaste I am not sure who is who, and so I remain unto myself until I know for sure who"she really is" oh how my heart aches for those of us who are the born women" How will we know?
by rosa barrio
Tuesday Feb 18th, 2014 8:43 PM
If it can be called a "community" any more. I know that the transgenders are counted out. The San Francisco Castro merchants won't even fly the transgender flag any more at Castro/Market even on International Transgender Day in November. The rainbow flag is the only flag to permanently fly there. (No leather or bear flag either).

I've written a lot about this at pinkbarrio dot com. I look at the language gay guys are using in their personal ads, and in my opinion the GLBTQ populace is going backwards into the closet. With language such as "straight-acting, straight-looking, jock, white guys, white boys, and NO FEMS [sic]" and there's an obsession with the word "discreet" as if guys are hiding something and ashamed of their sexuality. I sense that in the attempt to "assimilate" (ugh) and be as "straight" and as much like the "straights" as possible, that GLBTQs have completely abandoned our radical past, want nothing to do with it whatsoever so they can pretend to be "straight" and back in the closet. I'm disgusted with what the GLBTQ populace has turned into: Corporatized sheep. Alternative has been abandoned. I cannot relate to them and their obsession with corporate sports teams and being jocks (and historically and ironically the obnoxious jocks were the guys who bullied gay guys in PE and sports). Chau.---rosa barrio